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Reggae/Rock Fest Gives Economy $12 Million Boost

A three-day reggae-rock music and arts festival held annually in May in Monterey had a more than $12 million dollar impact to the local economy.

The California Roots Music and Arts Festival released an economic impact report this week revealing the monetary benefit to Monterey County.

Festival organizers said 12,000 people attended daily to see the performers, which included 311, Damian Marley, Ziggy Marley, SOJA, Rebelution and Steel Pulse. It's been dubbed North America's largest annual reggae-rock event.

The report was guided by the support of a comprehensive survey from more than one quarter of the 12,000 daily festival attendees, which shows the county's annual revenue-boost by a staggering $12.1 million. It was produced by the independent Los Angeles based economic research and consulting firm Beacon Economics, who also performs reports for the California State Controller's Office, a Wall Street hedge fund, the PGA Tour, Southern California Edison, Kaiser Permanente and the Sacramento Kings basketball team.

The report shows 90.5% of the festival attendees to the California Roots Music and Arts Festival travelled from other parts of California, including out of state and even out of the country.

Attendees spent a whopping $8.4 million to benefit the county, with $2 million going toward accommodations, $4 million toward food and beverages and $1.1 million toward retail spending.

The festival supported the equivalent of 132 full-time jobs and generated an estimated $1.2 million in taxes for state and local governments.

Organizers said since they work on this event year-round, they were curious to see how this festival affected the surrounding economy.

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