Officials in Chaffee County, Colorado, claim the festival failed to obtain permit approval in advance of selling tickets.
A week after Live Nation and Dierks Bentley canceled the Seven Peaks Music Festival "due to current capacity restrictions in place by local health officials," the local officials in Chaffee County, Colo., are pushing back. They say Live Nation put tickets on sale June 13 for the Labor Day weekend (Sept. 3–5) festival in scenic mountain hamlet Buena Vista, but had not obtained permit approval in advance, and was selling tickets beyond already established local capacity limits. "We learned of [the cancelation] by social media," says Beth Helmke, the county's public-affairs officer. "It's unfortunate that's how it had to have unfolded, and we wish it could've been a more positive feeling all around -- but here we are."
Unlike other parts of Colorado -- Red Rocks Amphitheatre, near Denver, has been at full, 9,000-seat capacity since June 1, for example -- Chaffee County public-health officials announced June 22 they would raise the cap put in place due to COVID-19 concerns for outdoor events from 2,000 to 5,000 people. In an Instagram apology to fans last Friday, Bentley said of the Labor Day-weekend festival: "We tried everything to make it happen, but Chaffee County has decided against lifting capacity restrictions."