Mesa County’s concert two-step

The Mesa County commissioners have determined that hosting two major, country music concerts in different parts of the county on the same weekend will produce a fine tune.

Their constituents have good reason to ask: Why?

What possible benefit is derived from having two concerts competing against each other the same weekend — one in Loma and one at the county fairgrounds?

One of those concert’s organizers, Country Jam USA, has operated in Mack for 20 years, and has a record of staging successful concerts, providing security, meeting county requirements and community commitments.

The other, Bobby Willis, who is promoting Bobby’s Birthday Bash, has no such record. But he did make an unsuccessful attempt to buy Country Jam. He is in the middle of a lawsuit with that company and, according to testimony at Tuesday’s county hearing, he has said his intention for holding a concert on the same weekend is to bury Country Jam.

Why should Mesa County attempt to accommodate someone whose apparent intention is to harm a well-established business in this county?

Moreover, the dueling concerts will stretch thin local law enforcement resources. Even though both venues are to have their own hired security on site, Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies will have to be called if crimes are committed at the concerts, and the Colorado State Patrol will have to patrol highways in widely separated parts of the county. Why add to the law enforcement burden?

Finally, why did the commissioners feel compelled to hold a hearing and reach a decision with such short notice for moving Bobby’s Birthday Bash to the fairgrounds? The first public notice of that potential change was posted at county facilities Monday. Why not allow area residents more time to consider and comment on what is proposed to be the largest concert ever held at the county fairgrounds?

We have little problem with Willis’ request and the commissioners’ approval for a second concert — this one a rock concert — to be held near Loma later in the year on a weekend that doesn’t compete with other major concerts. So long as Willis meets the requirements set by the county and alleviates impacts on the neighbors, that plan is not unreasonable.

The same cannot be said of the June 23-25 concert at the fairgrounds.

Willis has taken the lead in this concert two-step, and the commissioners are just following. The question is: Why did they agree to his dance at all?


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