BYERS, Colo. -- Thousands of people who were planning on lighting paper lanterns and illuminating the night sky this weekend won't be doing so. At least not this weekend.
What exactly happened? It depends on who you ask.
Denver7 spoke to the company that puts on the festival and the owner of the venue that had been planned to be used, and have gotten different responses.
Viive Events, which puts on the event, says they showed up to the venue Friday morning, but the gates were locked. They sent us the following statement:
"We were notified that they are going through bankruptcy proceedings and will not allow the event to happen as it may jeopardize their status in bankruptcy court. This was the first time we have heard anything about this and we’re shocked as to why they withheld this information and induced us to hold our event on their venue in the first place."
But when we reached out to the Colorado Motor Sports Park, the owner said something much different. Don Hulse tells Denver7 that it is a "county permit issue."
He said the team of the venue and operator were "working jointly to get them," but they did not have the permits yet. He blamed Arapahoe County for "dragging their feet."
When asked if bankruptcy had anything to do with it, he said the parent company that owns the facility was going through Chapter 11, but that it "was strictly a permits issue."
In an interview with Denver7, Viive says it was part of their contract with the venue that it was the job of the Motor Sports Park to get all permits. They didn't.
According to the Deer Trail Fire Department, which manages the area where the motor sports park is located, they received a permit application, but it had been denied for several months, and the venue was aware of that fact.
The Lights Fest has not completely canceled the event. They have notified ticket holders and said they will be looking for a new venue, and will either find a new place within 45 days or issue refunds.
The company is offering refunds to people who want them now. To be refunded, email firstname.lastname@example.org