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Utah's Bonanza Campout Music Festival canceled for 2019 after permit denials, organizers say

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - May 8th, 2019 @ 4:36pm | Posted - May 8th, 2019 @ 11:57am



SALT LAKE CITY — After being denied the proper permits, Utah’s Bonanza Campout Music Festival has been canceled for 2019.

Organizers announced the cancellation in a statement posted to the festival’s website on Wednesday. The announcement comes after the festival was denied proper operating permits from Wasatch County and the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, according to the statement.

“After reviewing all alternative options, we have come to the conclusion that there is no possible way to relocate the festival and still provide both artists and attendees with the same level of production and fan experience that Bonanza Campout has become known for,” the statement reads.

Bonanza Campout, which started in 2016, had been scheduled to run from June 21-23 at a site north of Heber City. The event’s lineup was set to feature a variety of hip-hop and electronic music acts, including DJ Snake, Empire of the Sun and Machine Gun Kelly.

Organizers are in the process of refunding all ticket and lodging purchases from the festival, the statement said. They plan to stage the festival again in 2020, according to the statement.

“We are truly grateful for all of the support we’ve seen over the years from our fans and are committed to honoring the community that has bolstered the development of Bonanza Campout and helped to create something truly unique to Utah,” the statement said.

The festival was hit with citations for five alcohol violations after last year's festival, RuthAnn Oakey Frost, Director of Compliance for DABC, said at a DABC meeting on April 30. In August 2018, the festival applicants admitted to the allegations, Frost said.

At the beginning of last month, MBN LLC, which administers Bonanza Campout, again applied for a single-use event permit for the festival planned for June, according to Frost. On April 15, DABC Executive Director Salvador D. Petilos denied the company's request, Frost said during the meeting.

Under state law, if three or more DABC commissioners request a review of a permit denial, it can be brought before the commission at a regular meeting, according to Frost. That happened for MBN's request, and it was brought before the body on April 30, she said.

At the meeting, Katherine Priest, an attorney representing MBN, said the company was working hard to remedy the previous violations and avoid further violations. The company also hired a consulting firm to come up with a comprehensive safety plan for the 2019 festival to avoid violations, she added.

Priest also said Heber City officials were supportive of the festival taking place.

Despite that, Petilos told the commission that he did not think anything he heard from MBN representatives at the meeting would change his mind about denying the company's permit.

The commission unanimously upheld Petilos's decision to deny it.

Any questions about the festival or the cancellation should be emailed to info@bonanzacampout.com, the statement said.

Jacob Klopfenstein

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