CRUSH Walls won’t happen this year after sexual assault and bullying allegations against the festival’s founder surfaced last fall

Robin Munro said that a 2022 festival was still in the works.

A mural alley in RiNo. Five Points, Aug. 29, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A mural alley in RiNo. Five Points, Aug. 29, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Denver’s largest street art festival will not return in 2021.

In an announcement posted to CRUSH’s Instagram account, the festival’s founder, Robin Munro, said that he is taking a year to focus on his family and career and to work on plans for the 2022 festival.

“After careful consideration I’ve decided to take the year off and focus on my family, my two year old son, and my own personal art practices,” Munro wrote. “This will also provide me time to refocus on the fundamental elements and future of CRUSH. I would like to return in 2022 bigger and better.”

An announcement from the CRUSH Walls founder on May 27, 2021.

An announcement from the CRUSH Walls founder on May 27, 2021.

CRUSH is Colorado’s largest street art festival, and one of the largest in the country. For over a decade, it’s helped to boost the careers of local muralists and bring in talent from all over the world. In years past, CRUSH has taken over several blocks of the area around RiNo and Five Points.

The announcement comes after a turbulent year for the festival. Last September, several women and artists came forward with sexual assault and bullying allegations against Munro. In December, RiNo Art District announced that it would part ways with him, leaving the festival in Munro’s control. The festival has also faced criticism for its lack of diversity and for its role in contributing to gentrification in Five Points. You can read more about the allegations in our investigation, which dropped in February.

Munro said he plans to expand the festival into a citywide event.

“I hold exclusive rights to hold this festival in the district till 2023. But it was never my intention to keep this confined to one space,” he wrote. “I would love to see this grow city wide and beyond, and now I’m free to do so. I’ve had several inquires about other location and am working towards some new areas and partnerships.”

 

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