Colorado Attorney General Issues Cease And Desist Against Weld County Rodeo Promoter

Courtesy of Marianne Goodland/Colorado Politics
Cars line up for a rodeo and concert event in Weld County that drew thousands before the landowner asked promoters to call it off.

Updated 4:18 p.m.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Wieser has ordered a cease and desist against the company that hosted a rodeo in Weld County on July 26.

The event drew about 2,000 people to a private farm near Hudson, and many of them did not wear masks or maintain a safe social distance, according to Colorado Politics

While the Weld County Sheriff’s Office tried to prevent the event, spokesperson Joe Moylan said deputies couldn’t do anything to stop it. He said the concert only ended after the landowner saw the size of the crowd, and told the promoters to call it off. 

Now the state is asking the promoters to stop, too. Weiser’s office contacted Live Entertainment Co. on behalf of the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, saying it was in violation of Gov. Jared Polis’ executive order banning events if they have more than 175 guests. 

Vail resident Carlos Barkleys organizes rodeo and concert events across the state. Authorities said he had originally planned to host the event in Elbert County, but shifted gears after the local public health department said he had not secured the proper permit. He then moved the venue to a farm outside of Hudson on the Northeastern Plains. 

The cease and desist letter says Live Entertainment Co. has actually hosted “at least two events” that attracted a total of about 5,000 people. Weiser has directed the company to immediately stop hosting events that violate the governor’s public health orders.

Alternatively, the letter says, organizers can host events if they bring them into compliance with the rules. That means no more than 175 people in an outdoor space, and they must keep six feet apart.

According to a statement from Live Entertainment Co., the company indicated it would comply with Weiser's letter:

"In response to Weld County and state officials regarding the event hosted on July 26th 2020 at weld county inbounds Live Entertainment's Attorney reached an agreement to comply with the cease and desist order from the Colorado State health Department. Live Entertainment will comply with the order by no (sic) conducting any more of this type of events while regulations on public health and limited capacity are in place in the state of Colorado."

The company is currently promoting a dance set to take place at a ranch in Agate, Colorado, on Aug. 15. More than 600 people have RSVP’ed on Facebook and a post about the event has several comments from people saying they plan to attend. 

In most cases, counties have enforced the governor’s rules so other state agencies haven’t had to step in. The most notable example is Bandimere Speedway in Morrison. Jefferson County Public Health sued the racetrack after it hosted a Fourth of July event with an audience of far more than 175 people.

A judge recently denied an injunction against the speedway, but ruled it must follow public health orders in Jefferson County.