County revokes permit for Willamette Country Music Festival

The Linn County Commission voted 2-0 Wednesday to revoke the permit for the Willamette Country Music Festival. (SBG)

ALBANY, Ore. - The Linn County Commission voted 2-0 Wednesday to revoke the permit for the Willamette Country Music Festival.

The festival was operating under a 5-year permit, in effect from 2017 to 2021.

Organizers had recently sought approval to move the event from Brownsville to a farm field near Harrisburg.

The vote Wednesday means the festival most likely won't happen in Linn County.

The event was scheduled for August 15 to August 18, with Jason Aldean scheduled to perform, according to the event's website.

No one from the festival or its parent company attended the hearing Wednesday.

"They're not in the room," Commissioner Roger Nyquist noted. "I'm betting they're not coming back."

Commissioners heard a report from Lt. Michelle Duncan detailing law enforcement issues at the festival in 2018.

There were 136 calls for service on the festival grounds, Duncan told commissioners.

"The calls that we got included sex offences, disturbances, trespassing, disorderly conduct, other fights," she said.

Duncan cited several instances of “bizarre” behavior related to alcohol at the festival grounds.

”We had a patron in a wheelchair trying to get through the venue," she said. "A male jumped on her wheelchair and basically—for lack of a better word—dry humped her.”

There are also ongoing concerns that vendors have not been paid.

"We've spoken to several of the vendors even as recently as yesterday," Duncan said. " They still have not received payment."

"And under section 8 there was a failure to pay the vendors which is prescribed in the permit," Commissioner John Lindsay said. " Based on that I would make a motion to revoke this permit."

The board plans final action on the issue next Tuesday after county staff writes up the formal resolution.

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