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Indio councillor drops plans for festivals tax after Coachella threatens exit

By | Published on Monday 9 July 2012


The councillor in the Californian city of Indio who was pushing for a new tax on major entertainment events has backed down after the region’s main such event, the Coachella festival, threatened to relocate if the new taxation went ahead.

As previously reported, a meeting of the Indio council last month refused to consider Sam Torres’ proposal to add a 5-10% tax on tickets for events with 2500+ capacities, but the council man said he would continue to push for the new tax in the autumn.

That led to the boss of Goldenvoice, the AEG Live subsidiary that promoters Coachella, to threaten to cancel the popular festival in 2014, before relocating to a new site outside of Indio in 2015.

Some reckoned Goldenvoice President Paul Tollett was bluffing, given the company recently bought some of the land used by the Coachella festival to reduce infrastructure costs, but if it was a bluff, it worked.

Late last week Torres said he was dropping his tax proposals, which Tollet said would have required an extra $36 to be added to every ticket for the Coachella event, and which would also have affected sister festival Stagecoach.

According to NBC, Torres said in a statement: “I cannot in good conscience allow this [the festival leaving Indio altogether] to happen no matter how dire the city’s circumstance. My sincere hope is that we can now move past this episode and I personally look forward to working to enhance relationships”.