Denver 4/20 Rally Will Be Much Better on 5/21, Producer Says

Last month, we reported that the Denver 4/20 Rally at Civic Center Park, which was postponed due to a snowstorm, had been rescheduled for Saturday, May 21, with original headliners Wiz Khalifa and Lil Wayne still aboard.

The 21st is now just days away, and Santino Walter, whose Santino Walter Productions is putting the event on in partnership with Miguel Lopez, president of the 4/20 Rally nonprofit (and holder of the permit for the get-together), expects an enormous crowd and a great time for all.

"We've already got 80,000 people registered for a free pass," Walter says, "so I think it's going to be a much better turnout than it would have been. We were going into the event with a week of reports that there was going to be a blizzard, and now everyone is hearing it's going to be 80-plus degrees in the park."

Walter stresses that those who want to attend don't have to register in advance: "You can just show up." But there are also what he describes as "two ticketed experiences" that allow for access to the backstage area, among other things. The details for the still-available tickets, priced at $50 and $150, are on view below.

The month-long rally delay brought with it pluses and minuses, Walter acknowledges.

The positives include weather expected to be glorious and more vendors; Walter says 25 or 30 more have signed up, including Red Bull and Fusion TV (a Univision affiliate), bringing the total to around 225. "We'll have food, drink, retail and a licensed marijuana presence" — although public consumption laws remain in place. (The Denver Police Department gave out 64 citations on this past April 20, even though the number of people present was far smaller than in past years.)

However, "I feel bad about some of our out-of-state tourists who'd come here to experience Denver on 4/20 weekend," Walter admits. "Some of those people aren't going to be able to make it back and we've refunded them. We refunded over $100,000 in tickets, and the rescheduling cost $200,000 extra" — a hefty sum given that he says "we've spent more than half a million dollars producing the event and a quarter-million securing talent. That's more than $800,000."

Considering the size of that outlay, can a mostly free rally possibly do better than break even? Walter doesn't want to go there given the nonprofit aspect of the event. But, he says, "I'm extremely grateful for MassRoots," the gathering's media sponsor. "They've come through in so many ways, whether it's returning money on the ticket sales or helping to move the event. It's really been a collaborative effort with them and all of our sponsors," which include the Colorado Marijuana Company, Sweet Leaf, the Green Solution, Native Roots, River Rock, NaturalRemedies, Frosted Leaf, Integra, Amber Ice, Uber, Neos and more.

He adds that all tickets for 4/20 will be honored on Saturday, and he's heard from plenty of folks from beyond Colorado who are "super-excited to come back on 5/21."

Tickets are available at the rally website or Green Solution, Native Roots, River Rock, Frosted Leaf and Sweet Leaf dispensaries — and Walter says they're selling briskly despite the rescheduling.

"We had booked the first show with such short notice," he says, "so for us to get an extra thirty or forty days to sell the tickets is great. We wanted to provide people with the real experience of seeing Wiz Khalifa and Lil Wayne at Civic Center, and we're ecstatic to be doing it in 85 degree weather, not 35 degree weather."

Gates open at 10 a.m. on May 21. Music is scheduled to get under way at 2 p.m., with local acts such as Pries and Top Flite Empire preceding Wiz Khalifa and Lil Wayne to the stage. The show's expected to run to at least 6 p.m. and maybe a bit longer, depending on the length of Lil Wayne's set.

"We highly recommend that people get there by 2 p.m., just to make sure there isn't a last-minute rush," Walter notes. After all, organizers wouldn't want anyone to miss 4:20.

Look below to see a video of the 2014 rally at Civic Center Park, followed by 5/21 ticket details. For more information about the rally, click here.

Ticket details:

Park Access (FREE)

Limited Premier Viewing Access ($50)
• Premier viewing section
• Express Entry
• Limited Edition MassRoots Gift Bag
• Exclusive Deals at local Colorado Dispensaries

MassRoots All Access Backstage Pass ($150)

• Backstage Pass
• Font Row viewing section
• Express Entry
• Private Restrooms
• Private Food & Drink Access
• Limited Edition MassRoots T-Shirt + MassRoots Gift Bag
• Exclusive Deals at local Colorado Dispensaries

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts