UPDATE: Councilman Reneges After His Coachella Tax Plan Creates Uproar
I’m sure you heard the news – “Promoters Consider Moving Coachella Festival to New Location, Canceling 2014 Event.” Um, excuse me? Hello state of California legislators, did you NOT learn anything from EDC? Los Angeles county lost $1.9 million in tax revenue and $14 million in income for workers after Insomniac moved the infamous event to Las Vegas. If Coachella does the same thing, I’m pretty sure we’ll start seeing $350 street cleaning parking tickets. According to Rolling Stone:
“The 5- to 10-percent tax on admissions for events of more than 2,500 people was initially proposed by City Councilman Sam Torres, who believes that the cost would add an average of $18 to each ticket. Torres belives this would generate $4 million for Indio, which recently had to cut almost $4 million from its budget through layoffs and leaves of absence. Tollett, however, estimated that the tax would make tickets approximately $36 more expensive, a cost he did not want to make festivalgoers pay; the tax, then, would cost Goldenvoice an extra $4 to $6 million.”
Goldenvoice/AEG has the power here because they have the audience. Coachellians will flock to the music festival no matter where it goes, whether it’s Kern County or Bakersfield or Vegas or Tahoe. That’s what happened with EDC. In fact, it actually got better and expanded to EDC Week to compete with Winter Music Conference.
We all know politicians have that gene called “I’m-greedy-and-shady-as-fuck,” but this is just plain stupid! If this is tax increase is passed, please believe Goldenvoice is taking the beloved Coachella festival elsewhere. It’s actually quite sad how California is driving away all the music festivals. Adding insult to injury, Goldenvoice purchased “280 acres of land surrounding the stages for its annual concert event.” Like, thanks for the investment guys, now we wanna shaft you for a few million more!
If City Councilman Sam Torres has ANY sense, he’ll roll back the measure and give the Coachella festival a tax BREAK to incentivize them to sign a contract to stay in Indio for the next 3-5 years. You know, what the city of Las Vegas did with Insomniac about the LV Speedway. Smart business practice is what I like to call it. But then again, not everyone has common sense and the lure of pocketing $4-5 million dollars is as sweet smelling as the devil’s lettuce.