BRAC-supported bill aims to enhance region’s livability, music scene
Baton Rouge, LA (June 5, 2023) – As part of a push to increase live music, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) worked with Representative Barbara Freiberg, Mayor President Sharon Weston Broome and Visit Baton Rouge to pass HB 450. Rep. Freiberg, BRAC, Visit Baton Rouge, and the City-Parish of East Baton Rouge proposed this legislation to attract more large concerts and festivals to the area by allowing East Baton Rouge Parish to offer a local sales tax rebate on admission to major live music and entertainment events that meet minimum paid attendance requirements.
The bill targets large concerts held in venues such as the River Center, LSU or Southern University, or multi-day, outdoor concert events. The passing of this legislation moves forward one of BRAC’s key legislative priorities for 2023 – attract more headline concerts and entertainment acts to Baton Rouge. The priority was identified after research conducted for BRAC’s five-year strategic plan, BRING IT!, showed that amenities, like concerts, museums, and art venues, were identified as highly cherished among skilled and mobile workers. 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.
“We want to help Baton Rouge attract more large concerts and festivals. For anyone who has gone to a Live After Five show or concert at the Raising Cane’s River Center, they know that live music unites people across age, gender, race, and background,” said Adam Knapp, BRAC president and CEO. “Baton Rouge is the capital city of one of the most culturally rich states in the country, and we should be a hub of live music entertainment. The passage of HB 450 allows us to attract bigger shows and festivals, which enhances our quality of life. We are thankful to Rep. Freiberg as well as our local legislative delegation who supported this push to grow Baton Rouge’s entertainment scene.”
“As Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish, I wholeheartedly endorse HB 450 in the Louisiana state legislature. This visionary initiative not only aligns with my commitment to uplifting Baton Rouge but also signifies an important step towards transforming our city into a vibrant and sought-after tourism hub,” said East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “By attracting larger events and injecting fresh energy into our local economy, we aim to reshape the perception of Baton Rouge as a premier cultural and entertainment destination. Together, we will unlock the true potential of our beloved city, captivating visitors with our rich heritage, captivating attractions, and a renewed sense of excitement that permeates every corner of Baton Rouge.”
“We are incredibly excited about the passage of HB 450 as it clearly aligns with Visit Baton Rouge’s strategic plan initiatives over the next few years,” said Jill Kidder, Visit Baton Rouge president and CEO. “Our goals are to make Baton Rouge a premier destination for visitors and to help create a community that is filled with local pride. Based on the most recent research, concerts and events are highly sought after by young professionals when considering a destination as a place to live, work or visit. This legislation will undoubtedly enhance our ability to attract and host large-scale events benefiting our local economy and the overall visitor experience.”
“The Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s recently released strategic framework seeks to build a thriving future for the Capital Region,” said Chris Meyer, Baton Rouge Area Foundation president and CEO. “Amenities and entertainment options, such as concerts, are vital in the effort to make Baton Rouge a best place to live and work, which is why BRAF is pleased to hear about the passage of HB 450. Collective efforts to boost our entertainment scene will have benefits across the community, while assisting with talent retention and attraction efforts.”
BRAC will continue to monitor the progress of its key legislative priorities for the remainder of the 2023 legislative session. BRAC’s legislative priorities can be found in full at brac.org/legislative-priorities.
About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is an aggressively ambitious regional economic development organization with a bias for action. BRAC seeks to push Baton Rouge beyond the status quo, unleash its potential, and support a vibrant business community that believes the finish line does not exist. BRAC seeks to accelerate economic opportunity in the Baton Rouge Area, for everyone, through BRING IT! Baton Rouge, its five-year, regional strategic plan. Learn more about BRAC at brac.org.