Economic Impact Study

Economic Impact of Seattle HEMPFEST™ Festival 2014 on the King County Economy

William B. Beyers
Department of Geography
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3550
[email protected]

May 2015

Prepared for:
Seattle Events, A Non-Profit Corporation, Producers of Seattle HEMPFEST™ Festival, HEMPFEST™, Business & Purveyors of HEMPFEST™ Central

Executive Summary

The Seattle HEMPFEST™ Festival is a multidimensional event, with exhibitors, volunteers musicians, food vendors, and thousands of patrons attending the festival over a 3 three period. In 2014 approximately 120,000 persons attended Seattle HEMPFEST™ Festival. It is estimated that 48.9% of these patrons came from King County, 31.6% from elsewhere in Washington State, and 19.5% from out-of-state. Produced locally, this festival has a significant economic impact on the King County economy. This report is a tentative estimate of these economic impacts, utilizing a mixture of data gathered by Seattle HEMPFEST™ Festival organizers and secondary data measured at similar festivals.

 Seattle HEMPFEST™ Festival patrons spent approximately $7.1 million in King County in relation to their visits to the festival. Volunteers and musicians were estimated to have spent $0.226 million in relation to their participation in the festival in King County, while Seattle HEMPFEST™ Festival exhibitors and food vendors are estimated to have had expenses of $1.8 million in relation to participation in the festival in King County. In addition, Seattle HEMPFEST™ Festival organizers incurred costs of $0.924 million, of which $0.744 million were made in King County. Exhibitors and food vendors incur expenses in setting up and taking down their exhibits/booths, as well as in their operation. It should be noted that each of the groups incurs expenses that are made outside King County in relation to their participation in Seattle HEMPFEST™ Festival; these expenses are not included in this study.

Each of these streams of expenditures was brought together in a model of the King County economy, known as an input-output model. This model, derived from the 2007 Washington State input-output model, allows estimates of indirect and induced economic impacts related to the streams of spending described above. It is estimated that Seattle HEMPFEST™ Festival in 2014 generated 234 jobs in King County, led to $18.145 million in output (sales of all industries), and generated $8.172 million in labor income. Labor income is the combination of direct earnings (wage and salary) plus estimated benefits/indirect labor expenses such as employee benefits). This model was used to estimate selected tax revenue impacts, which totaled $1.2 million. This estimate includes sales taxes (both state and local tax distributions), the lodging tax, and state and local business and occupation tax.

It should again be emphasized that these estimates should be regarded as provisional. Their accuracy could be improved through better survey data from each of the participants in the Seattle HEMPFEST™ Festival.


To read the full impact of the study click here:

Economic Impact of Seattle HEMPFEST™ Festival 2014 on the King County Economy