KAYSVILLE, Utah — A Collin Raye concert scheduled for later this month in Kaysville is causing a lot of controversy. Critics say it’s not safe, but city officials are sticking to their plans.
Organizers are scheduling the Utah Business Revival concert for May 30th at Barnes Park. It’s a free event where local businesses will also be allowed to sell their items directly to the public.
In a press release issued by the business group, Raye said he would be honored to attend.
“I would be honored to come to Kaysville for the first live concert in America,” he writes. “Music is an extremely powerful tool to help heal our souls, especially in times of uncertainty.”
While Governor Gary Herbert says groups can have no more than 50 people, the guidelines are written differently for “events” like concerts, theaters, zoos and sports. State documents state, “Event size can exceed 50 individuals if organizational oversight can be provided that ensures guidelines are followed.” That means they can’t have “temporary mass gatherings,” and they have to set times for high-risk groups to come in without feeling pressured by crowds.
To Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt, this isn’t simply a concert. In her eyes, this is a matter of constitutional rights.
“I feel that many of our residents feel like their constitutional freedoms have been overly taxed and impacted, and I feel that,” Witt said in an interview on Facebook. She later added, “We have to give them back as soon possible because, otherwise, they’re too hard to give back.”
She admits she is worried about the number of people that will show up to the Collin Raye concert and that it may be taxing to the cities resources. Technically, she says if there are more than 1,000 concert-goers, it would have to be approved by the Davis County Health Department. However, she estimates there would only be between 600 and 800 patrons, and event planners are required to be able to track attendance. Witt says Raye has agreed to perform two sets so crowds don’t have to be so large.
“[It will be] starting at three o’clock in the afternoon and going until 10 p.m. so that you can have lots of people come through but they’re not going to stay all day. They’ll come through and then leave,” she says.
Mayor Witt joined Dave and Dujanovic live to discuss the concert.
PUSH BACK FROM CITIZENS
However, critics say holding any kind of concert at this time is extremely irresponsible. Others believe the Collin Raye concert just a publicity stunt by Witt to create buzz around her campaign for Utah’s First Congressional District seat. One message to KSL reads…
“Kaysville mayor is holding a free ‘celebration’ concert to open up business. Collin Ray will be performing and I am sure the crowds will be crazy! 6ft distancing will not be possible! This is a violation of governors orders and our ‘yellow zone’ status!”
“I know it’s controversial,” says concert promoter Eric Moutsos, “but I believe that it’s the most prudent thing we can do to push back against some of the government overreach that I believe is happening.”
This isn’t the first time Moutsos’ name has been in the news for promoting something controversial. Just last month, he brought large groups of people to Washington Square in downtown Salt Lake City to protest the city’s and county’s stay at home directive. Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson called that protest an “egregious” violation of the public health order which she believed could cause more cases of COVID-19.
Moutsos says they are asking people to respect those who wish to maintain a social distance and wear proper protection, but he also says, “We’re going to ask people to do it, but, we’re not going to force people.”
This concert isn’t necessarily set in stone, yet. City leaders say there needs to be a change to the city’s noise ordinance before this concert can happen. The city council is expected to discuss it during their meeting on May 21st.
RISKS OF REOPENING TOO QUICKLY
Earlier this week the nation’s top infectious disease physician, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that while he believes the nation is moving in the right direction in the fight against the coronavirus, it is still not under control.
“If you think we have it completely under control, we don’t,” Fauci said. “I think we are going in the right direction, but the right direction does not mean we have by any means total control of this outbreak.”
When asked about his concerns about states opening too soon, Fauci said he is deeply concerned.
“There is a real risk that you could trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control, which paradoxically will set you back,” Fauci said. “Not only leading to some suffering and death that could be avoided but could even set you back on the road to try and get economic recovery, it would almost turn the clock back.”
How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus
COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
- If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
- Get a flu shot.
Resources for more information:
State of Utah: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/
Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707