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On-again, off-again 'protest' concert featuring Collin Raye is off after public health order

Organizers vow to stage it in Grantsville anyway
Posted at 2:21 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 16:21:41-04

GRANTSVILLE, Utah — A proposed country music concert in Grantsville this Saturday is now off.

That’s due to an order from the Tooele County Health Department and county commissioners, who say an event with thousands of people is simply too dangerous in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event, billed as a protest against strict coronavirus guidelines, was originally scheduled to be staged in Kaysville, but the city council nixed the plan.

At that point, plans were made to move the concert to ranch near Grantsville.

Organizers are still vowing to stage the concert featuring country star, Collin Raye, which could attract up to 10,000 spectators.

FOX 13 asked former Salt Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Greg Skordas what happens if they violate the county orders.

“Any jurisdiction has the right to regulate large events within their city or county,” Skordas said.

He said the people of Tooele County have determined that this type of large gathering simply isn’t appropriate right now due to public health concerns.

Skordas said he also understands the emotional and financial reasons why people want to get together and believes that will happen at some point this year.

“But health officials are afraid of reigniting this virus and re-upping the number of people that are getting hurt,” Skordas added. “And I think we just need to take a step back, legally and otherwise, and do what’s right so we don’t have the second wave which everyone is sort of expecting.”

However, with organizers vowing Saturday’s concert will go on, Skordas said both sides could be heading into uncharted legal waters.

“I think the police and prosecutors in Tooele County and Grantsville City are going to have their hands full deciding what to do with people who are violating this,” Skordas said. “Whether or not there was a criminal violation for perhaps a disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct?”

He added that he hopes cooler heads prevail.

“But if people gather peacefully even without a permit the remedy might be just to try to shut them down and if they don’t choose to leave peacefully, I don’t know what’s going to happen and hopefully we don’t have to cross that bridge.”

The Tooele County Sheriff’s Office said it’s up to the health department to determine what to do if people do gather illegally Saturday.

Raye told FOX 13 he is planning to be in Grantsville Saturday, but whether he’ll perform is yet to be seen.