Visit Baton Rouge will always be open to Bayou Country Superfest returning to Baton Rouge, says president and CEO Paul Arrigo.
However, it’s unlikely that would happen without the city-parish offering up a significant financial incentive to festival organizers.
The city and state ponied up $900,000 towards Bayou Country Superfest for the inaugural festival in Baton Rouge in 2010. By 2016—the last time it was held at Tiger Stadium before moving to New Orleans—city and state incentives had declined to $600,000.
Earlier this week, LSU officials told Daily Report they’d also be open to having the festival return to Tiger Stadium. The festival was moved to New Orleans last year because the stadium was undergoing renovations.
“Obviously, Visit Baton Rouge was very instrumental in getting Bayou Country Superfest to come to Baton Rouge eight years ago, and we were disappointed when it left,” Arrigo says.
As for the return on the investment, Visit Baton Rouge has estimated the festival brought in millions of dollars to the city. Held over Memorial Day weekend—a relatively slow holiday weekend for local hoteliers and restaurateurs—the festival helped fill hotel rooms and restaurant tables during the seven years it was here.
Some local restaurants estimated sales were four times higher than that of a normal weekend, and LSU made more than $2 million profit from the festival between 2012 and 2014. During that same period, average room rates over the weekend increased 50%, and the revenue per available room jumped by 200%.