The organizers of Riot Fest announced Friday morning that they have found a new Colorado home for their three-day September music extravaganza: Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver.
The announcement came a week after the event — featuring high-profile artists the Cure, Primus, the Flaming Lips and Weezer — was denied a permit from Arapahoe County to take place Sept. 19-21 at May Farms in Byers, a farming community 40 miles east of Denver.
In a news release, organizers said they heard from "dozens" of venues interested in hosting the event after their permit was denied but that management at Sports Authority Field allowed Riot Fest to "re-create Byers ... and May Farms on the new fest ground," complete with carnival rides and games, apple bobbing, miniature golf and a large circus tent.
Organizers also promised to turf the stadium's parking lot and bring "all the things people love about May Farms (tractors, hay bales, etc.) together with all the things to love about a country fair."
Reaction on social media to the announcement was decidedly mixed, with some fans on Twitter denouncing Riot Fest for its choice of venue and others praising organizers for salvaging the event.
On Riot Fest's website, event co-founder Mike Petryshyn apologized to fans who had purchased camping sites in Byers and said their money would be refunded. Parking will be free at Sports Authority Field.
About 17,000 people a day were expected to attend Riot Fest in Byers. It's not clear if that estimate will change now that it's in Denver.
Petryshyn stated online that he was "utterly incensed" by Arapahoe County's decision last week to deny the festival a permit.
At the same time, Riot Fest organizers made it clear Friday that they hope to make Byers their home in the future and have filed an appeal of Arapahoe County's permit decision. Riot Fest said it received many letters of support from Byers residents and others who live nearby.
"It's a community we care about tremendously, ... and just to pack up and watch the town disappear in our rear window is not an option," Petryshyn wrote.
The festival is offering free tickets and a free shuttle to any resident of Byers who wants to attend the show in Denver.
John Aguilar: 303-954-1695, email@example.com or twitter.com/abuvthefold