Electric Daisy, iHeartRadio and Rock in Rio May Add Nevada State Tax to Ticket Purchases in 2016
Las Vegas is one of the hottest cities to host a music festival at (no pun intended) and some are concerned that a new proposed tax will hurt attendance at such events. Among the events potentially affected would be the Electric Daisy Carnival, the iHeartRadio Fest and the new American chapter of Rock in Rio (from Dancing Astronaut).
One benefit to hosting your events in Las Vegas, even if the logistics of setting up in the tourist stronghold might be high: ticket buyers don'y pay state tax. This might not be true come 2016 if Nevada governor Brian Sanloval has his way. He's looking for funds to help finance the reform of the state's education system and new taxes are the obvious way to go. One of the topics on the table for taxation is "large scale live entertainment," ranging from festivals to NASCAR events.
The main talking point as to why such a tax is a bad thing is the idea that it may defer attendance at events such as Electric Daisy, and therefore prevent attendees from spending money in the region accordingly. A report last year indicated that attendees contributed an additional $322 million to the Las Vegas economy in the form of meals eaten, hotel rooms rented and yes, casinos gambled at. That's an epic number.
The problem with the arguments of lawmakers assumed is that they presume adding $x to the current ticket price will discourage attendance. If any music festival in the country demonstrates that money ain't a thing, it's Electric Daisy: The nearest major city to Vegas is Los Angeles, a four-hour drive. Also, it isn't exactly cheap to put yourself up in the gambling capital. People who attend Electric Daisy and other music festivals in the city know what they're getting into and aren't afraid to shell out for it. General admission passes to this year's EDC have sold out already and there hasn't been a lineup announcement yet.