Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival’s organizers announced June 25 that this year’s event set for Sept. 24-27 will not take place. Not only does this cancellation mean music lovers will have to wait until June 17-20, 2021, to flock to The Farm for four days of fun but it also means county’s coffers will suffer.
Events held in Coffee County boost revenues. Festival organizers pay state and local taxes and permits, bringing to the local economy millions of dollars in economic activity and sales taxes to the county’s general fund.
“Depending on the ticket sales, Bonnaroo can generate sales tax revenue in the amount of $800,000 to $1 million (annually),” said Marianna Edinger, Coffee County director of accounts and budgets.
Edinger said Coffee County is prepared to adjust its budget to handle the situation.
“I knew when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic that the 2021 budget would need to be prepared as lean as possible and Bonnaroo sales tax revenue should not be included,” Edinger said. “Estimating sales tax is always tricky at best, and you have to look at the county-wide sales tax as a whole and not just one event.”
Last year, in addition to Bonnaroo, The Farm welcomed music fans for another event – Exit 111 Festival – which was held Oct. 11-13, 2019. Organizers have announced Exit 111 would not return in 2020.
Exit 111 festival generated approximately $180,000 in sales tax revenue, according to Edinger.
“The school system benefits greatly from the sales tax generated from Bonnaroo,” said Lisa Myers, finance director for Coffee County Schools. “However, we were conservative when estimating the sales tax revenue that we expect to receive in 2020-21. Therefore, we are still hopeful that we will meet our budget projections.”