Weld County concert, rodeo fizzled after criticism over coronavirus precautions

A rodeo and concert in Weld County that was criticized Sunday for hosting large crowds with little-to-no precautions for the novel coronavirus ended without official intervention after the landowner learned of the event’s size.

About 2,000 people attended the gathering on land off Weld 37 north of Lochbuie Sunday night. The Weld County Sheriff’s Office, which had previously stopped the event from happening at another location, was alerted around 5 p.m. to the event’s new location by callers concerned about traffic, noise and a lack of mask-wearing and social distancing, spokesman Joe Moylan said.

The landowner at the second location had not realized the scale of the event to be held on his property, Moylan said Monday.

“The organizers said it would be a small get together,” he said. “And when he realized he had over 2,000 people on his property he went a little ballistic. He was like, ‘I didn’t approve of this, I didn’t sign off on this.’ And it kind of dispersed on its own.”

The crowds were mostly gone around 9 p.m., Moylan estimated. The landowner could not be reached for comment Sunday. The event organizer did not return requests for comment.

The state’s Office of Emergency Management sent a representative to the event Sunday, but that person turned around before arriving after touching base with the sheriff’s office, spokeswoman Micki Trost said Monday.

“They talked on the way out there and decided that he did not need to continue in,” she said. She added that the Office of Emergency Management did not have the authority to shut the event down and that any cease-and-desist order would come separately from state health officials.

“Our role from emergency management is to help them either with resource requests or provide technical assistance related to any questions they have for an event,” she said.

Moylan said the sheriff’s office did not issue any citations for mask-wearing.

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