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Euphoria Music Festival loses appeal against Travis County

Euphoria Music Festival lost its appeal against Travis County, a judge ruled this week, affirming a district judge’s decision from more than a year ago to dismiss the case.

The organizers of Euphoria Music and Camping Festival sued the county in 2015 over the mass gathering permit guidelines the Commissioners Court had just approved, which regulate hours for large permitted events. Organizers had wanted to keep the festival at Carson Creek Ranch open later than the rules allowed.

But Judge Tim Sulak ruled in December 2015 that the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter.

In a 17-page decision issued Wednesday and first reported by the Austin Monitor, Justice Scott Field of the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals wrote that Euphoria should have sued the members of the Commissioners Court, rather than Travis County, which has sovereign immunity.

County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and representatives of Euphoria did not respond to requests for comment.

The suit may be of little consequence at least this year, as the county already granted the April 6-9 festival a variance in January allowing artists to play later into the night than code normally permits. At the time, Eckhardt said the two parties were learning to compromise.

“I have an expectation that things will go smoothly,” Eckhardt said in January. “They went well last year, and like I said, we’re getting to know this particular promoter, and they’re getting to know us, and they’ve been very gracious in being basically a guinea pig in working out the kinks as we develop a reliable and predictable process.”

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