Avon approves Snow Ball liquor license
AVON, Colorado – This year’s edition of the Snow Ball music festival took another step closer to getting all its town approvals Tuesday, when the Town Council voted to approve the event’s liquor license.
Scott Stoughton, a member of the concert promotion team, told the council there were a only a few changes in this year’s permit. Perhaps the biggest is the addition of two new liquor tents – on the north side of the town recreation center and near the municipal building – as well as a fourth stage for music.
In a repeat from last year, alcohol sales will end 30 minutes before the last performer takes the stage on the festival’s final night. That condition wasn’t in this year’s application, but was put back following a suggestion by town police chief Bob Ticer.
Approving the license was fairly straightforward, but the hearing gave council members a chance to ask questions about this year’s festival.
Mayor Rich Carroll asked Ticer if he had any worries about this year’s headliner, Snoop Dogg. When Dogg appeared at a Spring Back to Vail show several years ago, several hundred people without tickets led promoters to take down the fences at Ford Park to let everyone in.
Ticer said he and his department have been researching to see if there had been problems in other towns that had hosted concerts by Dogg and other Snow Ball performers.
Stoughton said there was just one arrest at Dogg’s Vail performance.
There were 48 arrests over the three days of last year’s inaugural Snow Ball, split between minors in possession of alcohol, drug distribution and possession, assault, trespassing and driving under the influence.
Council member Chris Evans noted that none of those arrests had anything to do with the festival’s licensed alcohol sales.
To help cut down on underage drinking and drug use, Ticer said he plans to increase staffing by 21 percent for this year’s event.
Officers – uniformed and in plain clothes – will be on the lookout for intoxicated people, Ticer said, adding that state liquor enforcement agents will be brought in to help look out for underage drinking. He also said that the department has been working with the Eagle River Youth Coalition to get out information about drinking and drug use.
Stoughton said the festival promoters will have the youth coalition set up a tent at this year’s Snow Ball to pass out information on drinking and drug use, as well as the effects drugs and alcohol can have on people coming to Avon from lower elevations.
“We’re taking this very seriously,” Stoughton said. To help cut down on underage patrons leaving, drinking, then coming back, the promoters are looking at no re-entry to the festival for anyone after 7 p.m. All bags will be checked, he said, and anyone who’s obviously intoxicated won’t be let into the festival grounds.
With the liquor license in hand, the festival’s next step is getting a town permit for sound.
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