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Collin Raye country concert to move locations again after Tooele judge grants injunction

Posted at 10:27 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-30 00:41:28-04

A country concert that's drawn controversy is moving locations for a second time after a district court judge in Tooele granted an injunction to stop the concert.

Utah Business Revival founder Eric Moutsos, who is organizing the event, explained Friday night that they will still hold the concert somewhere, they just aren't sure where yet.

Collin Raye is already in town, ready to perform.

They plan to announce the new location on their Facebook page.

The announcement comes after a virtual court hearing Friday, where Tooele County and the event venue owner argued what they thought should happen with the 40-acre property, which sits outside Grantsville.

Paxton Guymon, representing the owner of the Amphitheater at Studio/Ranch asserted that the 3,000 to 5,000 people should be able to gather for the concert.

"There is no evidence, and the county certainly hasn't submitted any evidence, to show that the COVID-19 virus spreads in the outdoor environment," he said.

Organizer Eric Moutsos explained what safety and health precautions they'd be taking.

"We have several Porta Potties, we have hand washing stations, we have hand sanitizing, we have masks that have been donated, and we have EMTs that have volunteered and we have off-duty police officers coming from all over the state," he said. "And so, we feel like we've taken a lot of precautions."

But Tooele County disagreed, saying an event of that size violated health orders.

"We believe that the county is duty-bound to protect its citizens and to uphold the public health order, and to uphold the governor's executive order," said Scott Broadhead, the Tooele County Attorney.

"It's been about the governor's order, but it's been also about the process," said Tooele County Commissioner Shawn Milne. "I've really hit heavily in these conversations on our mass gathering permit process, but not withstanding, it is always said, 'You've got to guarantee the safety of your patrons and our community.' Which clearly those guidelines are all about."

He pointed out that the Amphitheater at Studio/Ranch owner didn't apply for a temporary mass gathering permit.

Guymon indicated that the landowner didn't apply for that permit, as required by the county for gatherings of more than 1,000 people, because they tried and were turned away.

"When he called the county health department.. he said, 'What can I do to get a health department permit, for a temporary mass gathering?' The answer was, 'I can't give one right now.' In other words, 'Don't even bother applying, because I can't give one,'" Guymon said. "So what's he left to do? Nothing?"

He also brought up that Tooele County gave the green light to a motocross event with hundreds of people in attendance this weekend, at the county-owned Deseret Peak Complex.

Moutsos later called the step "a hypocrisy," and Guymon questioned why the county would let that event happen.

Milne maintained that there was a reason they allowed that motocross event to move forward, and not the country concert.

"That was somebody who filed while we were still 'orange,' and we said, 'We'll proceed, but it's conditioned upon when do we move into next phase that will allow it, and can you address the safety of your patrons and our community," Milne said.

The County also answered that the Deseret Peak Complex doesn't need a temporary mass gathering permit to host events, and that organizers of this weekend's motocross event provided the county with a safety and health plan that the health department signed off on.

In the end, the judge sided with the county, allowing the injunction to stop the concert.

"She was crystal clear about following the process," Milne said. "We've maintained all along it was indeed about the process."