Promoter Goldenvoice will be moving the Coachella Arts and Music Festival out of cash-strapped Indio, Calif., after city officials tried to add an $18 ticket tax for 2014.
Goldenvoice president Paul Tollett told The Desert Sun that next year's festival, one of the biggest and best in the country, would be the last in Indio. Goldenvoice also said it would move the country music Stagecoach Festival from the city, located about 26 miles east of Palm Springs. “We think this tax is outrageous for all the things we've done with Indio,” Tollett said.
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Goldenvoice estimates the festival currently generates more than $800,000 in ticket fees, tax revenue on about $9 million in food and beverages sold, and a Transient Occupancy Tax of more than $800,000.
Goldenvoice has presented the Coachella festivals since 1999. It has become one of the most popular and critically acclaimed music festivals in the world, attracting a paid attendance of 225,000 each of the past two years. Next year's festival is set for April 12-14 and April 19-21.
City Councilman Sam Torres is leading a petition drive to get the measure on the ballot in November. Approximately 2,700 Indio residents would have to sign for it to go forward.
Goldenvoice vp Skip Paige told Torres in a text that the decision to move was a done deal.
“You know were moving right? All this is a game. Why in the world would we stay where we are not wanted. LQ doesn't want us, Indio wants to take all our profits. Its a joke.
“We made the decision to move out of indio the day we got our 2 year permit."
There are several options for locales that would keep the massive festival in the Coachella Valley.