Famed Colorado concert promoter Barry Fey long believed he’d be buried in the Morrison Cemetery, near his beloved Red Rocks Amphitheatre. But lost paperwork and a ruling by the historic cemetery’s management group makes it unlikely that his final wishes will be fulfilled.
Fey, who was responsible for bringing the biggest names in music to Colorado and making the state a regular stop for touring bands, died Sunday in Greenwood Village at the age of 73.
His death was ruled a suicide.
“I think it’s a shame they can’t make room for my father,” Fey’s son, Geoffry Fey said. “I want to bury my dad there.”
Geoffry Fey said his father had an agreement with a past Morrison mayor allowing him to be buried in the cemetery, even though plots are provided only to residents of the Jefferson County town.
But the paperwork from the deal — which stipulated that Fey’s family would pay $200 annually in exchange for a grave marked with a flat stone and surrounded by a chain link fence — was lost.
Denver PR veteran and family friend Andrew Hudson said he began working this week with Morrison’s current mayor, Earl Auckland, to make Fey an honorary citizen posthumously.
The Morrison Cemetery Association, however, ruled Wednesday night that even as an honorary citizen, Fey cannot be buried in the cemetery.
“Morrison and its citizens have benefitted so much from Barry’s work in putting Red Rocks on the map,” Hudson wrote on his Facebook page Thursday. “It would have been so appropriate for his grave to have soaked up the tasty tunes floating from the Rocks.”
Morrison Town Administrator and Clerk Kara Zabilansky said she and Auckland worked on the honorary citizenship until they learned the Morrison Cemetery Association’s by-laws would still bar Fey’s burial in the cemetery just outside the eastern boundary of Red Rocks Park.
“Only those persons who reside within Morrison town boundaries … and are eligible to vote in town elections shall be eligible to purchase plots in the Morrison Cemetery,” the by-laws state.
Hudson estimated there are about 60 available plots in the cemetery.
The cemetery is not within city limits, and the cemetery association is independent of the town’s government, Zabilansky said.
The Morrison Cemetery Association did not respond for comment.
If the association does not reverse its decision, Geoffry Fey said his father’s body will be cremated and his ashes scattered at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Nic Turiciano is a writer and photographer in Fort Collins who is also an intern at the Denver Post. You can follow him on Twitter at @nic_turishawno or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.