While the folks behind Riot Fest were recently denied a temporary-use permit to hold the event at May Farms in Byers the third week in September, organizers will reportedly have a new venue announced in the coming days. Sure, it's a major pain in the ass for everyone involved to scramble to change locations this late in the game, this kind of thing has been happening for decades.
Hell, in the summer of 1969 Woodstock organizers had about a month to find to a new place after the folks of Wallkill, New York Zoning Board of Appeals put the kibosh on the festival on grounds that the planned portable toilets wouldn't meet the town code. Later that year, what would become the Altamont Free Concert, headlined by the Rolling Stones, was slated to be at Golden Gate Park, then the Sears Point Raceway and just a few days before the fest, Dick Carter offered his Altamont Speedway. So it's a proud tradition, and there are some solid options in the Denver area for Riot Fest's new home. Here are the five we think are most likely.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Why it could happen: While the Monolith Festival only lasted a few years, it still proved that Red Rocks could be used for a big festival with multiple stages (including smaller stages in the visitor's center and one by south entrance), even if it meant hiking up and down the venue's stairs dozens of times.
Why it couldn't happen: Well, there's Lotus scheduled on Friday, September 19 and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals will be there the following day, so there would have to be some major creative juggling of shows. Also, where would you stick the carnival?
Odds: 1 in 20
Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Why it could happen: As with Monolith, The Mile High Music Festival only lasted a few years, but it also showed that the fields at Dick's are a very promising spot for a large-scale festival with a number of A-list headliners on multiple big stages. The fields could easily accommodate the 17,000 or so folks expected each at Riot Fest.
Why it couldn't happen: The Color Fun Fest 5K, which essentially combines the Holi Festival with EDM, is slated for Saturday, September 20, smack dab in the middle of the Riot Fest dates. But other than scheduling, it seems like a solid choice, really.
Odds: 1 in 10
Why it could happen: There have been concerts at speedways for decades.
Why it couldn't happen: The grandstands can hold over 23,000 people, the layout of the venue might not be the best fit for music festival, and there are events lined up the entire third weekend of September.
Odds: 1 in 30
American Safari Ranch
Why it could happen: This ranch in Fairplay already hosted the Sonic Bloom Festival in June and the South Park Music Festival over July 4th weekend. Since the drive is a little over an hour from Denver, it's really not that much further than the drive to Byers, it's a good chunk of land and there's also ample space for camping.
Why it couldn't happen: Since the venue has already had two fairly big music festivals over the last two months, who knows if the owners will be willing to have another festival on their hands, especially one that's more ambitious in scale.
Odds: 1 in 5
Adams County Regional Park Why it could happen: Home of the Adams County Fairgrounds, Adams County Regional Park in Brighton does have a Carnival Midway for Riot Fest's sideshow and an indoor arena where a smaller stage could be housed.
Why it couldn't happen: It might not big be quite big enough to accommodate three stages and the thousands of people each day, and there might not be enough parking. Plus, there's nowhere to really camp in the vicinity, unless you want to pitch a tent on the eighth hole of the Riverdale Knolls Golf Course next door.
Odds: 1 in 15
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