Tooele County made the news statewide in May when a controversial country music concert originally planned for Kaysville City took a turn and headed for a facility southwest of Grantsville City.
Utah Business Revival announced in late May that their May 30 event featuring country music singer Collin Raye would relocate to the Studio/Ranch Amphitheater up Box Elder Canyon in Tooele County.
“We care deeply about business owners and those who want to peaceably assemble, enjoy a free concert, and quality family fun,” said Eric Moutsos, with Utah Business Revival. “We are anxious to help even more small business owners survive and restore some Constitutional freedoms at the same time.”
Along with the concert, Utah Business Renewal wanted to highlight the small business heroes who set up booths and give them a safe, outdoor opportunity to provide for their families and pay their mortgages, according to Moutsos.
However, according to county officials, the organizers of the concert did not comply with county code concerning mass gatherings. County officials also expressed concern about compliance with state health guidelines for mass gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic recovery.
The county went to court and was successful at getting a 3rd District Court judge to issue a temporary restraining order, essentially canceling the event in Tooele COunty.
“The Court finds that there is a substantial likelihood that Tooele County would prevail on the case,” said Judge Dianna Gibson, as she read her ruling on the record. “The Court finds that the defendant has failed to comply with proper permits for a temporary mass gathering.”
With their event cancelled by the judge, the sponsors of the event canceled the concert, but held a business rally at Tooele County’s Benson Grist Mill on Saturday evening.
The Saturday impromptu gathering brought in an estimated crowd well under the 1,000 threshold that would have triggered the requirement for a temporary mass gathering permit.
The event included various speakers and around 30 vendor booths.
Eric Moutsos, with Utah Business Revival, spoke at the rally.
“Tonight is not about Tooele County,” he said. “It is about America and our freedoms.”
One of the vendors was Z’s Hot Sauce from Ogden, a home-based business owned by James McBeth.
McBeth said he relies on farmers markets to market and sell his product. Those markets have been closed due to COVID-19, according to McBeth.
“What I am making at this event will pay my rent tomorrow and help feed my three kids,” he said.