by Sue Deyoe ~ May 16th, 2011
An Alaska Superior Court judge on Thursday ordered the promoter of the Trapper Creek Bluegrass festivals to follow Mat Su Borough regulations on outdoor gatherings.
The Borough Attorney says the action came about because of citizen complaints. Complaints on the two separate festivals started in 2006.
In the fall of 2010, up to fifteen hundred people attended the festival. The Borough requires a large-event permit when more than 500 people attend an outside event.
The festivals have had problems in the past. In 2009, Trapper Creek resident Rodney Humphrey was accused of trying to kill a man from Texas when he ran over him with his pickup truck at the festival. The man was taken to the hospital with severe injuries. The attempted murder charge ended in a mistrial last year. The jury DID agree on a driving without a license charge as well as leaving the scene of an accident. Humphrey has since struck a plea deal for the attempted murder charge. Sentencing is scheduled for the end of June.
This year the events are advertised for May 27 through the 29th and August 19th to 21st on Boot Rosseau’s private property. Neither festival has a permit yet. The festival promotion site says they are only selling 500 tickets. The injunction says if attendance at the festival surpasses 500 people this year, the Borough could ask State Troopers to direct people away from the event or assist with enforcing the court order.
Superior Court Judge Kari Kristianson granted the preliminary injunction for the Mat su Borough.