UPDATE: Organizers of the Apple Jam Music Festival announced the event's cancellation around the same time of this article's original posting.
In a lengthy Facebook post, an Apple Jam organizer explained a long series of stumbling blocks for the event this year—beginning with an ownership change at their accustomed venue in Jackson County at the "Moon Barn."
After pursuing other venues in Jackson County, Apple Jam says that they began seeing resistance from some neighbors, who were circulating a petition to 'stop the county's approval of Apple Jam.'
As progress in the permitting process in Jackson County began to stall, Apple Jam says they started to pursue another option in Josephine County. However, a public outcry against the event spread—apparently due to a Mail Tribune article citing 'accusatory statements about the event that simply aren't true.'
According to Apple Jam, Josephine County Commissioners went out of their way to subject the event to a permitting process that was unanticipated by the organizers.
The post from Apple Jam apologized to their fans and promised a triumphant return next year. The full post can be see in the sidebar of this article.
(Updated as of 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 10)
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Where will Apple Jam land? According to a statement on Tuesday from Josephine County, the 2018 Apple Jam Music Festival has set their sights on Josephine after being rejected by Jackson County—and the Board of Commissioners wants nothing to do with it.
In fact, the commissioners have asked their legal counsel, Wally Hicks, to file 'legal action' to bar the festival from materializing. But the festival, scheduled for May 18-20, still very much appears to be happening at this time.
The County statement says that the Apple Jam Music Festival was denied a mass gathering permit in Jackson County at the end of April.
"Rather than mitigate concerns which lead to the permit application's denial, event organizers have announced plans to hold the event in Josephine County," the statement reads.
The festival's Facebook page tells a somewhat different story, however.
"We voluntarily withdrew our permit application in Jackson County out of respect for the community, and since then, we've secured a new location in Josephine County. But, we're still working out a few last minute kinks, so we appreciate your patience while we gather concrete details before making that announcement."
The same post from Apple Jam organizers said that they expect 2,000 people to attend. They are advertising this event as the festival's 10th anniversary. Right now, they seem to have settled on a location near Williams in Provolt.
The County's Community Development Department has been willing to work with the festival organizers to find a new site, they claim, but the organizers have still failed to get the needed permits, and have 'ignored the County's health and safety concerns.'
“Two weeks is simply not enough time to adequately address all the potential issues associated with hosting such a large event in the rural part of our county,” said Commissioner Simon Hare, board liaison to Community Development.
According to the statement, the Board, law enforcement, public health department and Community Development are all concerned about the festival's last-minute intent to land in the County—which could 'present serious risk to citizens' health and safety.'
“Annual events of this size typically start planning six months to a year in advance to ensure a successful event,” said Commissioner Dan DeYoung.
Commissioner Lily Morgan reiterated the board’s commitment to “ensuring a safe and healthy environment for the people of Josephine County and visitors to our community.”
The County appears to want tips if anyone catches wind that the festival plans to go forward in guerilla-style. They have asked that residents call 541-474-5100 to report it.