Published: March 18, 2019

Adelaide’s festival season has proven to be bigger than ever with the release of new figures marking the close of three major arts festivals, showing there’s no shortage of demand.

Renowned as the Festival State, the annual calendar of over 400 events and festivals is a strong driver for economic growth in South Australia.

The Adelaide Festival smashed its box office sales by 31 per cent, recording more than $5.98 million in revenue, the biggest in its 59-year history. Adelaide’s reputation as an arts destination continues to thrive domestically, with interstate visitors accounting for 22 per cent of ticket sales. More than 70 events were attended by a total audience of more than 316,129, with multiple shows selling out prior to the Festival opening.

With 825,000 tickets sold, the Adelaide Fringe Festival recorded growth of 17 per cent in ticket sales, another historical high at $19.4 million. The Festival’s free events attracted over 200,000 attendees. Half of all ticket sales derived from the three major outdoor venues, the Garden of Unearthly Delights, Gluttony and RCC Fringe, while smaller venues made up the remaining 50 per cent.

WOMADelaide welcomed close to 92,000 attendees over the four-day event this year. More than 20,000 fans each day experienced local and international performances from 75 groups and 700 artists. Additional shows and a series of Planet Talks on environmental issues were made possible by expanding into Frome Park / Nellie Raminyemmerin and surrounding Park Lands.

Attracting just short of double its 2018 attendance, the refreshed RCC Fringe at the University of Adelaide drew a crowd of 220,000 over the month-long Festival. The new venue allowed RCC Fringe to expand its music and arts offering, selling more than 82,500 tickets.

Hospitality in the East End reaped the benefits of a record-breaking festival season, further boosted by street closures and increased outdoor dining harnessing the atmosphere of the surrounding events. In collaboration with local traders, the City of Adelaide closed off Rundle Street to vehicle traffic over the four weekends, giving safe passage to festival goers and extending outdoor dining until midnight.

The festivities continue, with the city playing host to Carmen in the Square on March 23, and once again welcoming Tasting Australia from April 5 – 14.