Dutch rock fans snap up tickets to avoid new tax

Tickets for a Dutch rock festival sold out in hours Friday, even though it's nearly nine months away and not a single act has yet been announced.

The lure? Buy now, sock it to the man, and avoid higher ticket taxes.

Lowlands Festival organizers put tickets on sale months ahead of schedule to protest a government plan to increase taxes on live performances from 6 percent to 19 percent on Jan. 1.

The result: fans snapped up all 45,000 tickets in hours, even though the festival won't take place until Aug. 19-21, 2011. The purchasers, most of them young, saved about €20 ($26) on each ticket, which were priced at €165 ($218) apiece.