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Bureaucracy bars legendary promoter from being buried near Red Rocks

Greg Campbell
Contributor

Legendary Denver rock promoter Barry Fey — who died last weekend and was responsible for bringing some of the biggest names in rock ‘n’ roll to Colorado’s famous Red Rocks Amphitheater — won’t be buried in a cemetery outside his beloved venue, as he’d hoped, thanks to an obscure cemetery association’s red tape.

According to reports, Fey had made special arrangements with a former mayor of Morrison, the small town outside the amphitheater, to be buried in Morrison Cemetery near its entrance.

But the paperwork for that agreement has been lost, according to the Denver Post, and the association that manages the cemetery voted Wednesday not to grant Fey’s wishes because he didn’t live in Morrison.

The town’s current leaders and Fey’s family and friends hoped to make him an honorary resident — Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office even supported the idea — but one of the association’s bylaws still prevents his burial there.

The bylaw says only those who resided within the town borders and were eligible to vote in town elections qualify for burial. There are still about 60 plots available in the cemetery, the Post reported.

The association doesn’t seem willing to bend the rules, though supporters note he put the town on the map and was a boon to its economy.

When contacted by Denver Channel 7, association president Jeanne Terrell said the cemetery was private and that the city and county of Denver should do something in Fey’s memory. She hung up when asked if there had been a special exception negotiated for Fey in the past.

A phone number for Terrell had an outgoing voicemail message saying that the number wasn’t for the Morrison Cemetery Association and told callers not to leave a message.

Fey was recently inducted into the Denver & Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame for his work in bringing mega-bands like U2, The Doors, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin and others to Colorado over the years.

But Red Rocks — an outdoor performance venue formed from sweeping natural cliffs and with a commanding view of Denver and Colorado’s eastern plains — was where he hoped to be put to rest.

“[He] talked about the idea of having music waft over him while he was lying in rest,” friend Andrew Hudson told Channel 7. “I think it’s such an appropriate thing. [He was] one of those unique figures who did something so incredible.”

Fey’s son told the Post that if the cemetery association won’t budge, Fey will be cremated and his ashes scattered over Red Rocks.

Fey was 73, and his death has been ruled a suicide.

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