BURNET, Texas — After concerns about traffic and safety surrounded a music festival's move from a small town northwest of San Antonio to a ranch in the Hill Country, the festival announced they have found a different home.
UTOPIAfest organizers announced the festival will take place at Reveille Peak Ranch, which is roughly 20 minutes west of its original location.
The music festival was supposed to take place on a private ranch just east of Burnet, but people living there complained there was no way the roads nearby could handle the traffic.
"A lot of people are seeing this as a retirement area. It's quiet," Burnet resident Russell Weakley told KVUE.
About eight years ago, he moved to Burnet from Atlanta to escape the city life. It's that same selling point that attracted the organizers of the annual UTOPiAfest to the privately-owned ranch behind Weakley's home. The ranch is near CR 200 and Hidden Ranch Boulevard.
This year's four-day festival, "Down in the Oaks," promises a "magical, extraordinary experience" of music and fun surrounded by oaks and fields. It's scheduled to run from Nov. 1 though 4.
Weakley said he and his neighbors found out about the festival's new location sometime in June.
"Why would you want to do something like that and have to travel down that easement, dirt road," he said.
And it's that same road getting into the festival that has Burnet County Sheriff Calvin Boyd concerned. He said the road is in poor condition.
"[The festival organizers] are working on fixing that road, but there's only one way in and one way out of the festival," Boyd said. "Right now, it won't work."
Weakley, however, is more worried about County Road 200, the road outside his home, and the 1,600 or so cars organizers said they expect will drive on it.
"That is not actually a two-lane road. It's smaller," he said. "In the morning and the evenings, during school time, drop-off and pick-up, [CR 200 and FM 1174] are backed out. Cars are down the road. That's a mess."
Sheriff Boyd took all of this into consideration.
"If they meet all the requirements, we'll issue a permit," he said. "If they don't, then we won't issue a permit."
Festival organizers originally sent the following letter to residents near CR 200 to help ease some of the concerns:
Festival organizers are expecting at least 4,000 attendees. The mass-gathering permit, according to the Texas Health and Safety code, would grant them the permission to have more than 2,500 people on the property for more than five hours at a time.