City and county officials are concerned about music festival

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PAYNE COUNTY, Okla (KFOR) – A three-day music festival is slated to kick off at a popular dance hall and concert venue outside of Stillwater.

Back in May, the Tumbleweed canceled the traditional Calf Fry, but now Weedstock is set to start next week, and the owner of this event says he has spent an extra $15,000 on safety and sanitation equipment to make it as safe as possible.

“As far as the potential for the passing of COVID, yeah it has quite a bit of potential,” said Chris Reding.

The Payne County Commissioner talked about the upcoming Weedstock music festival slated for The Tumbleweed, northwest of Stillwater. The owner of the Tumbleweed didn’t want to talk on camera, but he did tell KFOR masks and temperature checks will be required to get in. Extra ticket booths have been brought in. Lines to get in will be separated, the same goes for drink stand lines with plexiglass to be installed at each window..

“It is a little concerning, but I think that as long as everyone follows the safety procedures, it should be okay,” said Stillwater resident Brandon Marling.

“Out at that venue there is a lot of enclosure, so I’d be a little leary of it,” said Pat Arden of Stillwater.

Stillwater residents are split, but some county and city officials think the event should be cancelled in the middle of the pandemic.

Stillwater Mayor Will Joyce issued the following statement:

“We’ve heard numerous questions and concerns from Stillwater residents about the event. I too am concerned that a three-day music festival just as the university and schools are reopening will have a negative impact on our community. It’s outside of City limits, but we have expressed these concerns to the venue’s management, county officials and state representatives. We continue to encourage people to avoid large gatherings and follow all possible precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Mayor Will Joyce

But county officials say it’s not in their power to stop it either.

“We can wave our almighty hand of authority and say ‘do this’ and ‘do that’ and either they do or they don’t, but we have absolutely no ability to enforce anything,” said Reding.

The owner says he has over 60 acres to spread out, and groups of more than six tailgaters will be asked to separate in the parking lots.

Weedstock is slated to start Aug. 20. The owner stresses that Weedstock is not a marijuana event. It’s just a play on the Tumbleweed name.

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