La. lawmakers pass bill to attract big-name concerts, festivals to Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana lawmakers passed a bill to help attract more large concerts and festivals to the Baton Rouge area.
HB450, proposed by Rep. Barbara Freiberg, allows East Baton Rouge Parish to offer a local sales tax rebate on admission to major live music and entertainment events of at least 7500 people.
The bill targets large concerts held in venues such as the River Center, LSU or Southern University, or multi-day, outdoor concert events. The hope is that this will give promoters and national tours an incentive to bring big-name artists and acts to Baton Rouge.
“What we hope to accomplish, bottom line, is to be more competitive with cities like Lafayette and New Orleans that bring a lot more entertainment, many more concerts to their city than we do,” said Freiberg.
Data reported by BRAC last year and collected from SeatGeek, a mobile ticket sales platform, revealed Baton Rouge ranked 11th lowest in the country in terms of major music events per capita.
Adam Knapp, BRAC President and CEO, said this could unlock new potential for the area.
“We think this is possible. Not just to go after concerts in a River Center, of course we want to do more of those, but also something that might be a festival that sets up a multi-day ticketed event like a Jazz Fest that becomes something big,” said Knapp.
Knapp said the next step is to figure out what artist or camp they can pitch the incentive to.
Leaders say now is the time to let the mayor’s office and organizers know who you would like to see perform in Baton Rouge.
“Now, let’s go and push to get those shows to come here. We have a tool we can use to market to those promoters to help land those types of shows. So, I would tell the public, dream big. Who do you want to see? Let’s find out,” said Knapp.
The bill passed both the House and Senate. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for a final signature.
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