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Coachella Leaving Indio? Promoters Skittish After City Proposes Hefty Ticket Tax

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The nation’s marquee music festival is homeless: Goldenvoice, the company that produces the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival, has reportedly decided to move the massive concert weekend out of Indio after the California city proposed an $18 ticket tax for 2014.

It’s a surprising move given Coachella’s 13-year history in the town outside of Palm Springs (especially since the measure isn’t even on the ballot yet), but concert promoters have apparently had enough of what they say are Indio’s ungrateful ways. As reported in The Wrap, Goldenvoice estimates that the festival brings in a massive sum for the city, including $800,000 in ticket fees, the sales tax on $9 million in food and beverage sales and another $800,000 tax for transient occupancy (levied on people occupying a place for less than 30 days).

Goldenvoice president Paul Tollett said that the ticket purchase tax was “outrageous for all the things we’ve done with Indio” and pledged to also move the Stagecoach Festival from the city. The loss of the two festivals would be a painful blow to the struggling city’s economy.

Coachella remains among the nation’s most taste-making festivals, drawing the biggest reunions and surprise performances. It’s where Tupac’s hologram made its digital debut. The Pixies, Pulp, Rage Against the Machine and Pavement all chose the sweltering event for their reunion shows. At this year’s festival, in April, Rihanna made a surprise appearance, performing her hit song “We Found Love” and rolling a joint on her bodyguard’s head in the middle of a crowd.

Tickets for 2013 have already gone on sale. As in 2012, the festival will take place over two weekends (April 12-14 and 19-21), with identical lineups performing at each.

For more on the story, including Goldenvoice’s VP’s text messages to the councilman who proposed the bill, head over to The Wrap.




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