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Utah DABC Rules No Alcohol Will Be Sold At Bonanza Campout Music Festival

Bonanza Campout, an indie rock, electronic and hip-hop music festival, is preparing for its fourth edition of the show at the end of June. However, this year the festival will not be selling alcohol.

At Tuesday’s Commission meeting of the State’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control—or DABC—the Bonanza Campout organizers appealed an earlier decision by the department’s director to deny an event permit. The commission also ruled to deny the permit.

According to a report by the State Bureau of Investigation the festival had five alcohol violations at their 2018 festival. One violation, allowing patrons to sell, possess or use drugs on the licensed premises, was classified as grave. The remaining four violations were classified as serious. The festival payed more than $12,000 to the DABC as a result of the violations.

As part of their appeal, event organizers outlined plans to have Bonanza Campout be more compliant with regulations by hiring a different concert security team and creating a ‘moat’ dividing alcohol purchases from the rest of the venue.

Although some commissioners appreciated the efforts of the organizers, the commission unanimously voted to uphold the department’s decision to deny the application.

Utah DABC Public Information Officer Terry Wood explains why Bonanza Campout’s 2019 application was turned down.

“Because of the serious nature of the violations at last year's Campout their application for alcohol was denied this time by our executive director,” Wood explained. “They appealed to the liquor commission, the appointed board. Seven members of the board decided that no, these were too serious of violations and they upheld the denial of the application by our executive director.”

DABC Commissioner Thomas Jacobson said his conversations with Wasatch County officials further informed his decision to deny the application.

“I’ve spoken directly to two of the county council members who were opposed to this,” Jacobson said. “I've spoken to the County administrative officer who said, ‘Gee, I was kind of hoodwinked in a little bit earlier. Nobody's came up forward.’ He finds difficulty with this, and I've spoken to the sheriff on several occasions. The sheriff indicated to me that he has considerable concerns about the security aspect of this. Especially concerns as to how they're going to address enforcing, not only the sale of alcohol, l but more appropriately the consumption of alcohol and who's going to be addressing how miners consume alcohol. He also indicated that his position on this is going to be that what they're going to require is basically uniformed officers a very high number to do this event. If it's done at all, but there going to be imposing a substantial number of conditions based upon what's occurred over the last few years. Which not only includes our issues that our director found but also some other issues.”

As we’ve reported, there was also a rape charge brought against a former UVU wrestler connected to an incident at the 2018 festival.

The music festival is located the Rivers Edge Festival Grounds located right beneath the Jordanelle Dam in Wasatch County.

The Bonanza Campout Festival is scheduled to take place June 21st-23rd with DJ Snake, Empire of the Sun and G-Eazy all scheduled to headline the event.

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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