Dierks Bentley’s Seven Peaks Music Festival is off the books for 2021. On Friday (July 9), organizers for the festival announced they are canceling the 2021 event “due to current capacity restrictions in place by local health officials.”
The three-day camping festival was scheduled to take place over Labor Day weekend (Sept. 3-5) in Buena Vista, Colo., but now fans will have to wait until 2022 when the event is expected to commence at a new location.
“I am so sorry to announce that we are going to have to cancel 7P for this year,” Bentley said in an Instagram post. “I really could not be more bummed about it. We tried everything to make it happen, but Chaffee County has decided against lifting capacity restrictions.”
The latest Chaffee County Public Health Order limits outdoor events to 2,000 people. According to Chaffee County Times, Seven Peaks was estimated to have welcomed roughly 13,000 guests in 2019. The Chaffee County Board of Health re-evaluates the capacity limitations on a monthly basis, which means the health order could be amended between now and the festival’s launch in September.
The festival tells Billboard, “Chaffee County is not allowing events over 5,000 capacity at this time, despite other cities, counties and states, including Colorado, ending all restrictions and so this did not allow a path for Seven Peaks to take place at this location.”
“It cannot be overstated how much time, thought, effort and energy has gone into gearing up for the festival this year. I want to thank my team for their work, the artists for their trust, and above all our fans, who look forward to this event all year long,” Bentley’s statement continued.
Seven Peaks’ cancellation closely follows the news of an apparent COVID outbreak at the Country Jam festival in Grand Junction, Colo. Country Jam welcomed thousands of festivalgoers to see headliners Luke Combs, Toby Keith and Carrie Underwood from June 24-26, and the state’s COVID outbreak map noted at least 17 cases reported (four from staff and 13 from attendees) after the event.
A reason for concern for health officials could be that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that Colorado currently has one of the highest proportion rates of the Delta variant in the country. At the same time, Colorado Governor Jared Polis ended all executive orders related to COVID on Thursday. Polis said in a statement: “While we have reached a milestone with over 70% of our state receiving the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, we must remain vigilant. Today, thanks to the decisions and resilience of Coloradans, our economy is roaring back and we are taking the next bold step to ensure Colorado is building back stronger than before.”
The 2021 Seven Peaks Music Festival would have marked its third iteration after Bentley and Live Nation launched the event in 2018. Bentley told Billboard just last month, “We haven’t made any money off it yet. We’re not doing it for that — we’re doing it because it’s awesome.”
Bentley announced Keith Urban, Molly Tuttle, Old Crow Medicine Show and more performers in June and expressed that he believed Colorado would lift restrictions enough to host the festival come September.
“I think it should be completely wide open, and hopefully it will be by then,” Bentley said. “We want to make sure we’re doing everything safe [according] to the county and state, and definitely play by all the rules, but if you trust the science, there’s just not that much outdoor spread.”
Friday’s statement on the festival cancellation says ticketholders should expect a full refund within 30 days back to the original point of purchase. Check out Bentley’s full statement below.