Home>Articles>California’s AB 5 kills off 40-year Lake Tahoe Music Festival

Lake Tahoe Music Festival. (Photo: Facebook)

California’s AB 5 kills off 40-year Lake Tahoe Music Festival

Another casualty in the quest to ‘save’ workers from ‘misclassification’

By Katy Grimes, March 1, 2020 9:17 am

California’s AB 5 has taken another life: The new law has now killed off the 40-year old Lake Tahoe Music Festival

“After 40+ years of classical music concerts offered outside with family and friends, the Lake Tahoe Music Festival will call a wrap to our summer festival with two performances in August of 2020,” the official festival website says. The Festival also posted the announcement on their Facebook page.

Assembly Bill 5 by former labor leader Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), has already significantly limited Californians’ ability to work as independent contractors and freelancers. It was revealed during Senate debate in September that the AFL-CIO wrote AB 5.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that AB 5 has already affected more than 1 million independent contractor and freelance working Californians.

Gonzalez can now add one more casualty to the growing list of 300+ industries impacted by the new law.

The Lake Tahoe Music Festival explained their decision:

New CA employment law AB-5 requirements add to the challenge of meeting our financial goals and create the final stressor on our small non-profit organization. For several years we have experienced the same slowly eroding philanthropic support of cultural life faced by other small arts organizations in our state. We now join many who also face increased uncertainty regarding employment costs and infrastructure needs associated with AB-5. So we will bring our festival to a close with pride in our long-time contribution to community life in North Tahoe and Truckee.

How is this “protecting” workers? 

The new law, effective January 1, 2020, was passed under the guise of protecting “misclassified” employees. Instead, the law has caused thousands of freelance journalists, musicians, actors, Uber and Lyft drivers, and  millions of gig workers, to suddenly find themselves out of work.

Gonzalez and Democrats who supported AB 5 say the “unintended” consequences of the law now need legislative fixes. But that’s bunk. California Globe attended the legislative committee hearings on AB 5, and witnessed how lawmakers were warned over and over by hundreds of freelance and independent contractors of the consequences.

But California’s Democrats’ devotion to Big Labor Unions always wins.

While Gonzalez has finally reluctantly acknowledged that freelance journalists and photographers will get an exemption from AB 5 and its randomly chosen 35 freelance articles per year, there are now more than 30 bills in the Legislature changing or removing aspects of the law — at what cost? This was totally unnecessary.

Most recently, AB 1850, authored by AB 5 backer Assemblywoman Gonzalez, would exempt freelance and independent contractor writers and photographers and remove the controversial ’35 content submissions a year’ rule, California Globe reported. Assemblywoman Gonzalez and other lawmakers had been considering such changes since December of last year, before AB 5 was even law. So they knew this was a disaster-in-waiting.

Thursday morning, the the California Assembly rejected a motion by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) to suspend AB 5 while corrective legislation is under consideration. Kiley’s Assembly Bill 1928 is an urgency measure to repeal AB 5 and would return the legal standard for independent contracting to what it was for decades before AB 5 and the Dynamex decision. Kiley proposed the Legislature suspend those recent changes pending further legislative consideration, but his bill was voted down by Democrats.

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67 thoughts on “California’s AB 5 kills off 40-year Lake Tahoe Music Festival

  1. Ooooops —– I do not think the wealthy Bay Area and other No. California Dems who apparently own all the best properties up there in Lake Tahoe on the north and west shores are going to like this news very much. Seems to me that once upon a time we also saw performances of Shakespeare plays, too, at Sand Harbor. I wonder if they are also out of business because of stupid AB5. But we haven’t been up there in awhile, so don’t know if that is still happening. What will the Lake Tahoe bohemians whom I’ve observed over 25 years of visits there do now? Vote Republican? Not bloody likely…. but I guess stranger things have happened, and we can always hope.

      1. Oh — you’re absolutely right, my mistake. Thanks. Time to move to Nevada, I guess, where there’s no crazy Gov, legislature, statewide office holder lunatics, or AB5.

        1. I hate to bust your political bias, but Nevada has a Democrat Governor, Senators, State Executive Branch and Legislative Branch. Nevada has voted blue in the last 3 national elections! Perhaps Utah would be a better fit.

        2. NEVADA IS CLOSELY FOLLOWING CALIFORNIA. it seems like when Ca dose something nevada will follow with something close or the same anymore!!

        3. Not true, Nevada has a Democratic Governor now to, Steve Sisolak, and he’s doing his best to turn Nevada into California.

    1. Take the show to the Nevada side of the lake. They are so close to America why throw the baby out with the wash to stay in California.

    2. Fortunately Sand Harbor is on the Nevada side, so Shakespeare should be fine. . Perhaps they should just move the entire event over to Incline Village on the Nevada side.

    3. Sand Harbor is in Nevada, we don’t enforce California laws in Nevada. Just bring the Music Festival to the other side of the boarder.

  2. And the Roseville Jazz Festival. They tweeted they are going to have to cancel due to AB5 too. Think of ALL those tourism taxes dollars Lorena Gonzalez and Newsom just screwed out of California because they rolled over for a union drafted bill. Also, Contra Costa Musical Theater, in Walnut Creek, after 58 years, has had to cancel the rest of their theatrical season due to AB5 too.

  3. Lorena Gonzalez is just the most awful representative this state has seen in a long time. She never listens to anyone and arrogantly assumes she knows what’s best. Get that woman out of office before she does any more damage.

      1. Bingo! Turn CA red in November or they’ll probably be a lot more fallout of other programs at the expense of commerce, and freely being able to participate and enjoy all the arts as should be the norm in a free society.????????????????

  4. What is missing in the conversation is the secondary impact of AB5: reduce the number of people who make money on their own and enjoy the free enterprise system. These performers will not join a union…so the secondary impact is actually the primary, intended impact.

    1. I’m not sure if this is a “Republican/Conservative vs. Democrat/Liberal” issue. I’m a liberal Democrat and I (and a LOT of people I know) have been liberally screwed by AB5. I lost my contract gig last Thursday. The one that was my foot in the door to full time employee status. The one that allowed me to learn while I earn. The one that gave me flexibility as a person with a disability and as a parent to control my own hours. I’m not anti-union (usually) but I am DEFINITELY anti-AB5!!!

      1. It definitely IS a Democrat/Republican thing as it is Democrats who voted for it and Republicans who opposed.

  5. I’m from Placerville, El Dorado County, California aka Hangtown and this affects not only California but also Nevada. Both States are tired of Rich City Brats destroying our environment, skiers defecating in public parking lots, waiting for chain control so they can get lost in the woods, and act like idiots in the ski lodges, etc. South Lake Tahoe removes TONS of trash out of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Eastern Slope and Western Slope. Our little town of Placerville is trying to make our town a Historic National Park including Historic State Park sights and Local Preservation and Heritage. This town has the mining history of at least 300,000 people who came to mine gold during the California Gold Rush. The Local Planning Commission wants to start selling off Old 150+ year-old Victorians and but yet allow millions of visitors come and destroy our Local Heritage. I live approximately 30 minutes from the California State Capitol and plan to advocate and lobby against big greedy land developers and corporations that are killing us, namely Pacific Gas & Electric.

    1. Good luck! The guy is as bad as the governor, maybe worse, but from the other side so the “Good us vs. Bad them” sycophants from each party don’t see the damage being done by their own, only the other party!

      1. President Trump is not trying to rape this nation and destroy the reason it was formed, unlike the C.A.I.R. run Democratic Party. Love him or hate him, it doesn’t matter. President Trump is trying to save this country for the people who love and believe in it and for people like you who can’t see beyond their own predjudices.

        1. You have got to be kidding! Trump ONLY cares about one person, HIMSELF! His greed and self-centeredness are on display daily for all to see.

          1. You dullard! And you think those that run California are any different? This article proves they are not!

          2. I don’t agree at all. What evidence to you have that Trump only cares about himself? He had unended his comfortable life to take on the swamp and all this hostility and rudeness from half the country, has given up his salary, has made policies that lift people up. Even before his stint as President he has a whole list of charitable things he has done. This is just made up BS by people with Trump Derangement Syndrome. The hate is so strong they can’t see clearly.

          3. Uh, yeah, right. that’s why he gives up his salary. You’re pissed because he cannot be bought.

            Show me another president who gives up his salary. Do you think
            Bernie will?

          4. He cares about me and the other 60 million folks that will vote for him again.

  6. AB5 is a crushing blow to freelance musicians, performers, writers, photographers, bookeepers, stage crew, recording engineers, and any small independent business that has gig-based work with dozens of one-time clients throughout the state. This will force independent workers who were once productive, flexible, tax paying, folks to choose to leave the state, or join the growing underground economy in a black market of gig services.

    Such foolishness!

    1. As an independent music producer from another state, I unfortunately can no longer employ California musicans unless or until this AB5 mess is sorted out.

  7. Every one of these individuals have the 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech and ability to assemble peacefully regardless if they belong to a union or not. Newsom and all the Democrats in the state legislature should be tarred, feathered and made to sit on the Capitol lawn in Sacramento for failing to protect the rights of individuals set forth in the Constitution of the United States.

  8. Californians elect communists to office then are surprised when their rights and freedoms are taken away. You need to turn CA red. But whatever you do don’t move to my state then try to make us CA. Don’t CA My TN!!

  9. Due to the Assembly Bill 5 and former labor leader Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), the 40-year old Lake Tahoe Music Festival that started around the same time I lived there with classical music concerts that was offered outside with family and friends will be forced to call it a wrap. ☹️

  10. If dumb were a currency, California Dems would be billionaires. Blundering from one stupid, overreaching, unintended consequences-laden scheme to the next, believing that the problems they create with their legislation can be fixed with more legislation, those clowns need to spend a year trying to operate a business in California. As George McGovern admitted after spending his life on the taxpayer dime and then trying (unsuccessfully) to run a business, “I also wish that during the years I was in public office, I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. … In short, ‘one-size-fits-all’ rules for business ignore the reality of the marketplace.”

  11. It is way past time for California to go to a part-time Legislature. California doesn’t need a full-time Legislature. They obviously don’t have enough to do, so they make up stuff that the highest paying lobbyists want. They could meet three months out of the year, and we could cut their salary accordingly!!!

  12. Hey california, are you tired of putting the same people back into office all the time that are killing your way of life?

    1. I live here and hate it. As an independent Conservative, there’s zero representation in Sacramento for the likes of me and the many like me.
      I retire in a few years and when that day comes, this loony bin will be forever in my rear-view mirror. Sad to see this once great state reduced to a s*it filled, homeless camp serving the likes of Hollyweird and the political elite.

      1. I understand. I’ve lived here all my life. I cannot WAIT to get out of this state. I feel like I’m barely getting by and I’m not even one of the people affected by AB 5.

    2. If this goes on, the politically insane will drive away everyone in the middle class and all that will be left here are illegal immigrants who are living for free, and homeless camps. Nice place.

  13. AB5 is a crushing blow to freelance musicians, …etc…

    Heck, try software/electrical/mechanical engineers.

  14. I’m a house manager at a local community college. I’ve lost a quarter of my usual hours this month due to AB-5 related event cancellations, and our producers are only starting to get hit with the effects of the law. The college used to pay clinicians, costumers, choreographers, fill-in musicians as 1099 gig workers, but they are no longer willing to do so because of the law. I also own a publishing company, so I’m getting it from all sides…..” “Gonzalez and Democrats who supported AB 5 say the “unintended” consequences of the law now need legislative fixes.” How about repealing it? That’s about the only “fix” that will repair this disaster.

  15. Let California, New York and Chicago serve as lessons for the entire country; Once you vote yourself into tyranny it is impossible to vote yourself out of it.

  16. Katy, thank you for continuing to bring this information to Californians. In addition to his day job working in the mill, my Grandfather was a freelance musician and also taught music lessons through a music store. None of that would be possible today under AB 5. His hustle and work ethic was part of what made America prosperous and thriving.

  17. These small groups simply don’t want to do the paperwork and collect the taxes. Simpler to go I-9 and let the performers deal with it. Mendocino Music Festival got in trouble with that many years ago.

  18. I can’t wait to leave California and the stupid politicians that run the place they will taxes out of our homes when you are old you won’t be able to afford the taxes on your home

  19. Wake up California! There is plenty of dirt on this bitch, you haven’t been looking hard enough. She is going to tank your economy even deeper than it is if you don’t get rid of her, and I don’t necessarily mean by legal methods. She is in bed with ig Labor, the Mob, and Pelosi and her husband are keeping her afloat. You Also need to scrutinize her OWN personal background. Really look at it.

  20. What evidence do you have of this? If he were all about his own greed he could have just focused on his businesses and not run for President. Running for President has cost him money time and away from his businesses. He had to put it all aside. Plus he isn’t even taking a salary. He has stuck his neck out to re negotiate trade deals, further the economy, up wages for the working class and he is “greedy”? Really? He has risked his and his families well being going after the Deep State (the truly greedy self serving people) to stand up for the American people. He is anti greed. He has taken so much flak and evil for doing this. Very few people would have the guts to do this. Prior to being President he did numerous acts of personal generosity and helping people with their careers. Please lets not make things up just because they make us feel better saying them.

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