GRANTSVILLE — A Tooele County judge says a controversial country music concert planned for this weekend cannot go on.
BREAKING: Tooele County judge Dianna Gibson will NOT allow a country concert to be held in Grantsville.
— Kelli Pierce (@KelliReports) May 29, 2020
Update: The Utah Business Revival is going forward with a rally/fundraiser/business revival at 5:00 p.m. today in Tooele.
In a live stream on the Utah Business Revival Facebook page, it was announced that the event will be at an undisclosed location that will be revealed around 4-4:30 p.m. today.
Eric Moutsos, who posted the video, said that it will be a “peaceful picnic” where people will get food from any location in Tooele and bring it to the picnic.
Moutsos apologized to the people and businesses who spent money preparing for the event saying, “My number one goal is to get them made whole first.”
Moutsos is planning to donate his stimulus check and some of his own money to help reimburse those who spent money on the event.
Posted by Eric Moutsos on Saturday, May 30, 2020
Judge Dianna Gibson granted an injunction preventing the Collin Raye concert from proceeding on the grounds that it violates both a state and county health department order.
Tooele County commissioners had sought the injunction after the health department ordered the amphitheater that was holding the concert to close earlier in the week.
Concert organizer Eric Moutsos argued changes had been made to keep people safe.
“We feel like we’ve taken a lot of precautions, in fact more so than places like Lagoon and Costco and Walmart, as far as safety,” Moutsos said.
This included asking people to keep seven feet of social distancing, as well as adding bathrooms and hand washing stations.
But he also believes by not allowing the concert, people’s First Amendment rights are being violated and small businesses who would have sold concessions would be hurt.
“I feel that certain government agencies, including health departments, they have gone against the process. What I mean by that is it’s okay for them to come in and shut somebody’s business down unconstitutionally, but then when we’re trying to what we can in an emergency…if we don’t go through the exact technicalities then we’re the bad guys,” Moutsos said.
Concert organizers were also upset that the county is allowing a large motocross event on county property that same weekend.
But Tooele County Attorney Scott Broadhead argued the venue could not hold thousands of people, and the organizers never wanted to go through the proper process to get a permit.
“The county is duty-bound to protect its citizens and to uphold the public health order…The defendants have essentially not even attempted to be in compliance with it and have stated publicly, repeatedly, that they have no intention of abiding by the public health order,” Broadhead said.
Judge Gibson disagreed with concert organizers’s arguments that their First Amendment rights were being violated and believes both Tooele County and the state were well within their rights to have public health orders.
“It is both the prerogative and responsibility of the state of Utah and Tooele County to enact laws, regulations, and to issue orders to promote and protect public health and safety,” Judge Gibson said.
Judge Gibson acknowledged the venue owner was making an effort to keep people safe.
However, she also reminded those in court that Utah and Tooele County’s COVID-19 case count is going up.
“If information and evidence cannot be presented to the court to confirm that all public health risks have been considered and addressed, then there is and remains a threat to public safety,” Judge Gibson said.
Concert organizers are debating whether to still hold the concert, but restrict the number of people to under 1,000.
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