The future of Indio's signature festivals will be at the top of issues under consideration during today's city council meeting.
The council agenda includes a status report on committees that deal with
residents' concerns about -- and negotiate with organizers of -- the
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach: California's Country
Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club.
Coachella and Stagecoach both mean sold out hotels in Palm Desert, and needed tourism dollars to the city.
Each event is held in the spring.
Recently, the festivals' promoter, Goldenvoice, signaled it would consider pulling up stakes and elsewhere if proposals for a local tax on admission to the music fests are approved.
IIn order to foster positive dialogue, the city manager and I have agreed to place an item for discussion at the ... City Council meeting regarding the status of our festival ad hoc committees,'' said Indio Mayor Glenn Miller. "We will find mutually beneficial solutions to ensure that the music festival economic engine stays in Indio and continues to boost the regional economy.''
Miller said he and other council members want to continue working with
Goldenvoice "to ensure they are able to continue the success of their music
festivals in Indio while building upon their existing business model.''
Two weeks ago, Indio Councilman Sam Torres said he would back off the proposed ballot initiative for the sake of "continuing the long-term partnership with the music promoter.''
Goldenvoice President Paul Tollett told The Desert Sun that 2013 would
be the last year for the music festivals in Indio if the ticket tax made it
onto the November ballot.
The measure would place a 5 to 10 percent levy on admission to events of
more than 2,500 people, beginning in 2014. Nonprofits, schools and public
entities would be exempt.
"The potential for the music festivals to move out of the city exists,
and if this should occur, it would negatively impact the region,'' Torres said
on July 5. "I cannot in good conscience allow this to happen no matter how
dire the city's circumstances.''
According to the city, options for finding revenue-generating sources
without burdening local businesses in the current sagging economy remain a
An introduction to the proposed tax initiative says hard economic times
have led the city to lay off employees, reduce public safety and public works
services and close facilities on Fridays.
"The residents of Indio wish to exercise their constitutional right to
vote on the measure and are forced to circulate petitions in order to secure
our public safety and protect our quality of life,'' the document states.
According to the city, tourist spending "(has) resulted in job creation
and millions of dollars in revenue to support the community'' for the last 13
years that the Coachella festival has been held in Indio.
Goldenvoice announced yesterday that would take the festival atmosphere to the Caribbean this December.