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Electric Daisy Carnival Put $26M into Joliet Economy, Report Says

The report found Insomniac spent $11.1 million, out-of-towners spent $10.7 million and local residents spent $4.3 million.

The Electric Daisy Carnival generated $26.1 million for the Joliet economy in its debut weekend at the Chicagoland Speedway, a report released Thursday by promoter Insomniac said.

The economic impact analysis of the outdoor electronic music festival, conducted by Beacon Economics, broke down spending by local and out-of-town attendees over the course of the three-day Memorial Day weekend. It found Insomniac spent $11.1 million, non-Joliet residents spent $10.7 million and Joliet/local residents spent $4.3 million.

Among the specifics cited were:
  • $5.4 million on food and beverages
  • $1.4 million on accommodations
  • $1.3 million on transportation
  • $1.1 million in retail purchases
  • $1 million in additional entertainment
  • $10.9 million for local labor (the equivalent of 279 full-time jobs)
  • $1.6 million in local and state taxes.
"When we produce an event we want it to be a positive and memorable experience for the fans while also benefiting the communities that host our events," Pasquale Rotella, founder and CEO of Insomniac, said in a news release on the report. "To learn that our festival helped generate more than $26 million for the local Joliet economy is really gratifying."

The city of Joliet asked for the economic analysis to be conducted in advance of the city council making a decision on whether Insomniac would be allowed to return for a second year.

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This year's event, while well-received by the 65,000 people who attended, also generated hundreds of complaints from residents who live east of Chicagoland Speedway, located near Route 53 and Laraway Road. Many said the sound was so loud, particularly the bass, that it kept them from sleeping until the festival ended at 4 a.m. and could be heard as far away as Frankfort and Orland Park.

Insomniac has already agreed to end the festival earlier and to find ways to mitigate the sound if it is allowed to return a second year.

The study also looked the reaction of those who came to the event, 68 percent of whom attended for all three days and 48 percent of whom traveled from outside the Chicago area. Of the participants surveyed, 72 percent said they planned to return in 2014 and 83 percent said they are " highly likely to recommend EDC Chicago 2014 to others," the report said.

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