This year’s Electric Daisy Carnival could be the last in Las Vegas

While this year’s Electric Daisy Carnival is all systems go, next year’s event hinges on Nevada state tax reform being debated in the State Legislature in Carson City, NV. The festival, which is a three-day event put on by Insomniac Events, moved from Los Angeles to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011.

As the festival stands now, it is a huge economy booster for Las Vegas, making EDC weekend the biggest weekend for hotel-room occupancy all year. Last year the event drew 320,000 fans to Vegas and generated $207 million in revenue for Clark County. If you’re interested in EDC’s economic impact, Insomniac releases a comprehensive yearly report on the event, which you can find here.

But the state can’t count on this revenue booster if the Legislature passes tax reform that would remove the outdoor-event exemption from the Live Entertainment Tax.

This tax, which was put into place in 2005, is a 10-percent surcharge on many different types of entertainment in Las Vegas today. As it stands today, the tax mostly applies to resort events in showrooms and smaller lounge acts. If the Legislature succeeds in reforming the law, the state will be able to apply this tax to many more events, including the Electric Daisy Carnival. One proposal is to replace LET with a more general tax that would apply to all live entertainment.

Rotella issued this statement in light of the tax discussions:

“Insomniac loves doing business in Las Vegas, and right now our primary focus is producing the best show for the fans who will attend Electric Daisy Carnival on June 21, 22 and 23. While we would love to bring another festival to Nevada, we are tabling any further discussions until the state Legislature settles the Live Entertainment Tax issue.”

This comes after talks of hosting EDC two weekends next year– but if things don’t go as Rotella hopes, even one weekend of the Electric Daisy Carnival in 2014 could be in jeopardy.

However, keep in mind: this more generalized tax that is on the table wouldn’t just affect EDC, but would also tax NASCAR events at the Motor Speedway, as well as Burning Man and Night in the Country (A Boys and Girls Club fundraiser). Rotella’s push-back certainly isn’t the only one, and there’s no saying at this point how far the bill will go.

Though Rotella said Insomniac is holding off on discussions at this point, he did not issue an ultimatum. Ticket prices for the event are $300, not including handling fees. If a 10-percent tax was applied to the event, the state could earn $9.5 million of revenue. If a tax like this goes through, Insomniac could move the event out of Nevada– or just raise ticket prices by 10 percent to make up the difference. We’ll keep you updated as this plays out, but in the meantime: sit back, relax, and know that EDC 2013 is less than two months away!

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Erin Flemming
Erin Flemming is a graduate of the University of Washington and a current resident of San Diego. She loves music of all types, but has a particular weakness for anything on Dirtybird records and Drum & Bass. Erin's favorite concert experiences include seeing Above & Beyond in an intimate setting at Foundation Nightclub in Seattle and experiencing the massive Q-Dance stage in the pouring rain at Mysteryland in the Netherlands.
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