The show must go on.
Last week, Arapahoe County denied Riot Fest the temporary-use permit needed to host the music festival at its announced location in Byers, Colorado. On Friday, festival organizers announced a new location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.
“Although dozens of venues were interested in hosting the event, organizers chose the stadium for several factors,” said organizers in a press release. “One of which being that stadium management have allowed Riot Fest to recreate Byers, Colorado and May Farms on the new fest grounds.”
The festival will still take place Sept. 19-21, with all previously bought tickets being honored. Also, all the bands originally scheduled to appear will still do so at the new location. The carnival rides will also remain, including a Ferris wheel and lucha libre wrestling. Additionally, turf will be laid down and tractors, hay bales and other country staples will be brought in to re-create the farm-friendly atmosphere found at last year’s event at May Farms.
One thing that will not be available is the camping. For those who bought camping passes, refunds will be issued shortly. Parking will still be free, and the new location will also allow for public transit.
The festival’s organizers also extended an olive branch to the residents of Byers. Residents of the city will be given complementary tickets and a free daily shuttle will run from May Farms to Sports Authority Field. Riot Fest will also give businesses from both Byers and other I-70 Corridor businesses that supported them free vending space at the new location.
“I’d like to thank the residents and businesses of Byers, Strasburg and the surrounding areas,” said festival organizer “Riot” Mike Petryshyn. “Your letters of support have not been overlooked.”
Organizers thanked fans for their patience and support and although it appears to just be out of principal, they did file an appeal with Arapahoe County, because “they know they are right.” Petryshyn released a pointed statement on the situation.
The fact of the matter is that even in this day and age, ignorance resides and the words “Riot Fest” unfoundedly scares people. Punk rock still scares people. Intelligence and wit scares people. And we all know if we were named Good Ole Country Riot Fest, we would have never been in this situation.
Sports Authority Field is the home of the NFL's Denver Broncos, but they will be in Seattle for a Super Bowl rematch against the Seattle Seahawks the week of Riot Fest; with their next home game being on Oct. 5 against the Arizona Cardinals.