ADELAIDE’S thriving arts festivals are proving to be increasingly important drivers of the South Australian economy.
Economic impact figures combining the data of Adelaide’s 10 major arts festivals show that in 2014/15 the combined economic impact of “new money” to South Australia’s economy was about $74.7 million with collective of 1,062,000 tickets sold. About $210m was generated in economic expenditure at the time.
The study, commissioned by Festivals Adelaide – the strategic collaboration of the city’s major Arts Festivals – included the Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe, WOMADelaide, Adelaide Film Festival, Adelaide International Guitar Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, ComeOut Festival, Feast, Oz Asia Festival and SALA festival.
The report also found the 10 festivals attracted 52,000 visitors to the state, an estimated 250,000 visitor nights, gross expenditure in the SA economy of about $210 million and created 790 full-time equivalent jobs (or approx 7,800 casual staff employed duringthe running of each respective festival).
The festivals also generated $4.9 of new income for every $1 invested by the state government.
Festivals Adelaide Executive Officer, Christie Anthoney said the steady growth of the festivals showed the significance of the sector to the South Australian economy.
“A study by Live Performance Australia in 2014 showed South Australia outperformed all other states combined to sell 56 per cent of all festival tickets in the nation so there’s no doubt we’re the best Festival City in Australia.”
A recent Omnibus Survey conducted by SquareHoles also found, 74 per cent of respondents agreed that Adelaide’s arts festivals significantly improved the image of South Australia while 80 per cent said they believe we should host them, even if they didn’t attend.
“On top of fantastic economic success, the festivals make a fundamental contribution to the state’s long-held perception of being a progressive, culturally rich and clever place” Anthoney said.
“Festivals have helped forge a unique identity of diversity, curiosity and quirkiness in South Australia and you can see it in the extraordinary way the people have engaged all year round.”