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Thousands of people defy public health orders, pack into a field in Weld County for an outdoor concert

weld county concert
Posted at 7:07 AM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 17:02:55-04

FORT LUPTON, Colo. — In the middle of an open field in Weld County, thousands of people defied public health orders and showed up for a concert to the surprise of neighbors in the area.

Eathan Holtz and his grandmother, Anja Hyma, who lives next to the field, said they were concerned.

"Mind-boggling. It’s unbelievable," Hyma said.

From their home, Holtz and Hyma could see cars beginning to pile in early Sunday afternoon.

"We were sitting in the house when it all started and you could hear it, you could feel the vibrations still a little bit," Holtz said.

To the surprise of many neighbors, law enforcement didn't do anything to stop it.

"Weld County doesn’t have a permitting process at the moment. There’s really nothing for us to stop this gathering from taking place," said Weld County Public Information Officer Joe Moylan.

That is far from the position of the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, which in a statement said, "We rely on event organizers to follow state law, and we rely on local officials to help with enforcement. If local authorities aren’t enforcing local or state orders, the state can issue a cease and desist order. Weld County Sheriff is on scene and a Colorado Office of Emergency Management representative is en route to the event. Mass gatherings, especially without physical distancing or mask wearing, are particularly irresponsible.”

The Weld County Sheriff's Office said the position they’re taking is the same from the start of the pandemic. They say the executive order isn’t the same as a law passed by the state legislature.