Published: September 26, 2018

South Australia, widely known as the Festival State, boasts an annual program of over 400 globally renowned events and festivals. 

The arts are thoroughly celebrated through the Adelaide Fringe, WOMADelaide and Adelaide Festival. As a UNESCO City of Music, music is an integral thread with the delivery of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, which is the largest cabaret festival in the world, and the Adelaide Guitar Festival which is the most significant guitar festival in the Southern Hemisphere. Sporting enthusiasts from across the globe flock to Adelaide for the Santos Tour Down Under, the first event to join the prestigious UCI WorldTour outside of Europe, and the Adelaide 500 motorsport event. 

Major events and festivals invaluably contribute to the culture of South Australia and the resulting economic benefits are notably significant. The annual event program attracts domestic and international visitors and participants from across the globe that fuel the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors. There are no signs of demand subsiding, with many festivals experiencing substantial year on year growth.

As the second-largest Fringe in the world, the Adelaide Fringe is the highest ticket selling multi-arts festival in Australia and has doubled its economic impact since 2011. Ticket sales exceeded 700,000 in 2018 with a box office value of $16.6 million and a total of 2.7 million attendances across free and ticketed events. The Fringe attracted 20,244 total visitors to the State in 2018, up from 18,655 in 2017. This resulted in an injection of $29.5 million of new money into the South Australian economy, up from $24.3 million in 2017.

Celebrating 20 years in 2018, the Adelaide 500 generated $41.9 million in economic benefit and attracted in excess of 270,000 attendees to the city. The event has brought global superstars such as Robbie Williams and KISS to sell-out crowds. It has accumulatively provided nearly $550 million in economic benefit since its inception in 1998. 

As a major sponsor of these events, among many others, the City of Adelaide continues to grow its reputation as a city committed to delivering unique experiences while capitalising on their far-reaching economic value.