Riot Fest organizers released a statement Friday saying their three-day music extravaganza will still go on in Colorado, just hours after Arapahoe County announced that it would not issue a temporary-use permit for the event to happen in Byers.

On its Facebook page, Riot Fest said a "nearby alternate location" would be announced early next week.

"All tickets will be honored at the new location," the statement reads. "Riot Fest in Denver is NOT canceled, the show will go on, and rock n roll never dies."

Riot Fest, which features well-known rock and punk acts such as Primus, The Cure, Wu-Tang Clan and Slayer, was scheduled for Sept. 19-21 at May Farms in Byers. It made its first appearance in the state last year, also at May Farms.

More than 200 people packed the American Legion Hall in Byers to comment on the planned Riot Fest concert at an Arapahoe County Commissioners meeting
More than 200 people packed the American Legion Hall in Byers to comment on the planned Riot Fest concert at an Arapahoe County Commissioners meeting Tuesday night, July 1, 2014. (Karl Gehring, The Denver Post)

The festival was expected to attract 17,000 people a day to Byers, a town of slightly more than 1,000 residents about 40 miles east of Denver.

Riot Fest organizers have 10 days to appeal to the county.

In her letter of denial, Arapahoe County Zoning Administrator Tammy King said Byers had "a general sense of being overrun with traffic and people" from Riot Fest in 2013.

"These impacts included residents having difficulty in getting their vehicles in and out of their driveways, substantial difficulties in traveling to obtain groceries and other essential services, difficulty in getting to and from work, (and) difficulty in conducting farm trucking activities," she wrote.


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King also said the county was not confident emergency-response providers would be able to serve town residents and festival attendees, given the crowds.

Festival organizer Michael Petryshyn, reached by phone Friday, didn't elaborate on Riot Fest's plans. Local promoter Soda Jerk Presents also declined to comment.

Festival fans blew up on social media Friday as soon as the announcement about the permit denial went public.

"What are you thinking Arapahoe County?" wrote one exasperated fan on Twitter.

Another fan on Twitter suggested a different venue for the festival.

"Just play at Red Rocks, duh," the fan tweeted.

That despondent tone on social media began to change as news spread that Riot Fest had a backup location in the state.

Brandon Whalen is scheduled to play Riot Fest with his band My Body Sings Electric and was confident that Riot Fest would have a backup plan.

"It is a relief," Whalen said of the decision to move Riot Fest to a new location. "I was pretty certain they would have a plan worked out, since it's been three or four weeks since all this stuff starting happening. I figured nobody sinks as much money into bands and marketing and staff without taking steps to negate the risks of what could come with permits."

But if the event had been canceled, it would have put the band in a tough situation.

"It would be a pretty big hit for us," Whalen said. "We're really trying to build our résumés for these big festivals."

Organizers had been awaiting word on a special-use permit from Arapahoe County after a public hearing on July 1, when residents voiced concerns about the three-day music festival — primarily revolving around noise, traffic and drug use.

The county commissioners were considering two issues regarding the festival.

The first was the temporary-use permit. The commissioners also were mulling whether to grant a use by special review amendment, allowing May Farms to expand its "agritainment" operations to an additional 195 acres north of Interstate 70 to accommodate large events like Riot Fest.

Riot Fest has two other shows scheduled to take place — in Chicago and Toronto during the two weekends leading up to the Colorado dates.

Staff writer Matt Miller contributed to this report.

John Aguilar: 303-954-1695, jaguilar@denverpost.com or twitter.com/abuvthefold