Report: Adelaide’s festivals boost SA economy

South Australian festivals attracted more than 50,000 visitors, created 790 full time jobs and delivered $210 million to the state’s economy in 2014/15, according to an economic report commissioned by Festivals Adelaide.

Public expenditure on Adelaide’s festivals grew by 16 percent to $210 million in the period, including ticket sales and extra economic activity in associated industries such as hospitality and retail. The report notes that for every dollar the government invests in arts festivals, five dollars are delivered to the state economy, as $15 million of government investment resulted in $74.7 million of new money flowing into the state. This came from 52,000 interstate and international visitors, staying an estimated 250,000 nights to enjoy Adelaide’s festivals. With more than a million ticket sales, the festivals generated 790 full-time or 7800 casual equivalent jobs last year. “We outsell all other states in festival ticket sales: 56 percent of national festival tickets are sold in South Australia,” Christie Anthoney, Festivals Adelaide’s Executive Officer, says. Festivals Adelaide is a strategic collaboration of Adelaide’s 10 largest arts Festivals – the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide Fringe, WOMADelaide, SALA Festival, Adelaide Film Festival, Feast Festival, Cabaret Festival, Adelaide International Guitar Festival, Come Out Children’s Festival and OzAsia Festival. Anthoney says that while the Fringe Festival is the most popular of the festivals, selling around 500,000 tickets in 2014/15, every one of the 10 arts festivals held last year saw significant growth on previous years. Asked whether Festivals Adelaide expects to see this growth continue, Anthoney says, “I think it’s unstoppable. As we grow more proud of it, and tell others, the world will continue to take notice of what we have here.” On funding sources, Anthony says that it’s a mutually beneficial situation for the government, private companies and the public. “It’s a win-win where we can provide an ambience to the city and bring the economic benefit of jobs and activity in return.” The news comes after last year’s announcement that Adelaide was the only Australian city invited to join in the prestigious International Festival City Network, and just before the beginning of the February-March festival season. “This goes to show that Adelaide is the best festival city in Australia.”   Picture: OzAsia Festival