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Kyle Potter, Published June 18 2013

Despite brief scare, WE Fest will be able to sell beer

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – Tax troubles raised the possibility this week that WE Fest organizers would be barred from selling alcohol at this summer’s festival.

But fear not, country music fans: There will be beer.

Horseshoe Inc., the company that handles liquor sales for the annual music festival in Detroit Lakes cropped up Monday on the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s list of businesses behind on paying their beer, wine and liquor taxes.

By Tuesday morning, the company was cleared.

Had it stayed on the list, festival organizers would have been unable to buy alcohol from distributors or wholesalers starting June 20.

Bob Bliss, the festival’s chief operating officer, said he got a letter Tuesday saying the company had been removed from the blacklist.

“It’s all taken care of,” Bliss said, adding he was confident that any issue would be quickly resolved.

A Department of Revenue spokeswoman could not comment on whether the business was mistakenly put on the list or if it simply paid back taxes to get back in the state’s good books.

Bliss said WE Fest was up-to-date on all of its taxes, and wondered whether it was a mistake.

Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church are set to headline this year’s WE Fest, the 31st annual festival that brings tens of thousands of country music fans to Detroit Lakes. The three-day festival starts Aug. 1.