Although it is certainly not the first thing on the Chaffee Board of County Commissioners’ (BoCC) June 22 meeting agenda, the special event permit application for Live Nation’s Seven Peaks Festival (scheduled tenth on the list of items) may well draw the largest audience of the extensive agenda.
Tuesday, the BoCC will begin formal review of the application to conduct the Seven Peaks Music Festival proposed for Labor Day weekend at The Meadows, on county land on the edge of Buena Vista. It does this against the backdrop of a county event size that is currently set at a maximum of 5,000. But the permit is requesting audience approval for the other side of 20,000.
This is the third time the BoCC will have been asked to consider a permit application for this event (it was held in the county in 2018 and 2019, and last year’s festival was canceled, as were all such events due to the pandemic). The BoCC is used to considering the normal concerns about such things as traffic, and noise. But this year the concerns are larger; including the overriding public health concerns of how large an event is safe, as well as the reality that our public health, EMS, and law enforcement — resources normally involved in such massive events — are themselves recovering after a lengthy pandemic response effort.
Other states and metro areas are already holding full capacity events, reportedly successfully. While the county has been packed with tourists for weeks now, there is a sentiment in the county that Chaffee should weigh carefully the road back to full-size festival events and perhaps consider that the summer of 2021 should focus more on local events for local people.
The proposal by Live Nation has a sore spot; the entertainment giant began promoting the Seven Peaks Festival, even opening ticket sales on June 15, for a Seven Peaks Music Festival that is not only not approved, but the permit for the event hadn’t even been reviewed by the county.
All county meetings continue to be conducted virtually.
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