The Colorado Attorney General’s office on Tuesday issued a cease-and-desist order aimed at the company that held a large rodeo and concert in Weld County, prohibiting it from hosting future events without taking precautions for the novel coronavirus.
The letter says at least two events hosted recently by “Live Entertainment Co” attracted as many as 5,000 people. It was signed by W. Eric Kuhn, senior assistant attorney general, who sent it on behalf of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The letter was directed to “Live Entertainment Co,” although no company by that name is registered with Colorado Secretary of State. Lawrence Pacheco, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said a representative for the business, which “operates as Live Entertainment,” responded to the letter Thursday and is in discussions with the office. Carlos Barkleys, who promoted Live Entertainment’s events on social media, said in a statement Thursday that Live Entertainment would comply with the cease-and-desist order.
On Sunday, about 2,000 people attended an event off Weld 37 that prompted complaints to the sheriff’s office about noise, traffic and a lack of coronavirus precautions, including that attendees were not wearing masks or social distancing.
The event ended without official intervention when the landowner discovered the size of the gathering, which had been described to him as a small get-together, a spokesman for the Weld County Sheriff’s office said.
The letter orders the company to follow the state’s rules for outdoor events, including that no more than 175 people can attend per activity, and those attendees from different groups must stay six feet away from each other.
Live Entertainment is currently promoting an Aug. 14 event in Grand Junction, and Barkleys said in a Facebook message that he can’t afford to stop working.
“Our industry has been left out completely by the government,” Barkleys said. “People have to work, do something to survive. Right now opportunities are very limited out there.”
Such conflicts between health officials and business owners are becoming more frequent as coronavirus restrictions continue during the global pandemic. Earlier this month, Bandimere Speedway owners argued they’d go out of business if forced to follow Jefferson County’s health precautions and took their case to court. A judge ordered them to follow public health orders.
Gov. Jared Polis on Thursday called Live Entertainment’s Sunday event a “super spreader” and cited the cease-and-desist letter as the state’s response to that gathering.
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