No Masks, No Distance: Weekend Weld County Concert Draws in Thousands
Despite Governor Polis' mask mandate and urges for social distancing, thousands of people gathered for a concert and Mexican bull-riding competition in Weld County on Sunday (July 26).
According to Colorado Politics, event organizer Carlos Barkleys hosted the show on a private farm near Hudson with no permit, and no mask or social distancing requirements.
The publication reports that the Weld County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) did little to stop the event, only closing roads near it after thousands of concert-goers had already entered the property.
However, officers were circulating around the farm at the beginning of the concert, and later returned to the scene when nearby residents began complaining about loud music, heavy traffic, and public urination.
Colorado Politics' reporter Marianne Goodland noted that Barkleys originally planned to hold the event in Elbert County, but "cancelled" it when the county began attempting to shut it down.
Barkleys then changed the address of the show several times before settling on the Weld County location.
Weld County Sheriff Public Information Officer Joe Moylan told the publication that WCSO tried to talk organizers out of hosting the concert, but, because the county doesn't require permits for gatherings like this, the department "can't do anything about it unless things get out of control."
As a whole, WCSO is relying on voluntary compliance for the mask mandate, meaning that residents will not receive citations for violating it.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), on the other hand, does not share this sentiment.
"If local authorities aren't enforcing local or state orders, the state can issue a cease and desist order," CDPHE said in a statement about the event. "Mass gatherings, especially without physical distancing or mask wearing, are particularly irresponsible."