Adelaide Fringe Doubles Economic Contribution to SA

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Everyone loves the Adelaide Fringe – every year thousands of people from interstate and overseas come and visit the “Festival State” for a few weeks of uninterrupted fun and wonder.

Now we have the figures to prove that Fringe has more to offer Adelaide than a few weeks of entertainment each year – Adelaide Fringe has today released its 2017 Annual Review, revealing the festival has astoundingly doubled its economic impact on South Australia in the past six years.

The number of tickets sold, attendances, total economic expenditure and visitor spend related to the Fringe have almost all doubled since 2011.

This year’s Fringe attracted 18,655 interstate and international visitors – up 38 per cent on the 2016 festival – delivering $24.3 million of new money to the state. The total estimated number of visitor bed nights also rose to more than 80,800.

Meanwhile, the total expenditure related to the 2017 event was a staggering $81.4 million – up almost 5 per cent on last year’s figure of $77.6 million.

Adelaide Fringe Chair David Minear said the results demonstrated South Australians’ passion for the festival and its increasing appeal to interstate and overseas visitors.

“The year’s success belongs to all who embrace what the Adelaide Fringe is about and have helped us to achieve this magical result,” Mr Minear said.

The 2017 Adelaide Fringe also generated $16.2 million in box office revenue – most of which goes directly to artists – an 80 per cent increase in five years. Ticket sales were up 9 per cent to 658,360 and attendances also sky rocketed to 2.52 million, an 11.5 per cent increase on 2016.

The 2017 Annual Review has been released today to coincide with the inaugural World Fringe Day, celebrating 70 years of the fringe festival model, which started in Edinburgh.

Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said the Adelaide Fringe was proud to hold the title of the world’s second largest Fringe festival after Edinburgh.

“The Adelaide Fringe is by far the highest ticket selling multi-art form festival in Australia, and to have another year of record ticket sales just goes to show that our Fringe artists and events continue to offer the quality, diversity and eccentricity it takes to keep the public’s love of our festival well and truly alive,” Ms Croall said.

Arts Minister Jack Snelling congratulated Adelaide Fringe on its ongoing success, saying “the Fringe plays an important role in fostering new and emerging artists, as well as providing a platform for those who are established”.

Mr Minear thanked the South Australian Government, Adelaide City Council and corporate partners especially Principle Partner BankSA for their support.

BankSA Chief Executive Nick Reade said “the Fringe is a time when we all seem to feel happier, more positive, more creative and spend more money”.

“These are things that are not only good for us as individuals, but also for the South Australian economy. That’s why a key focus of BankSA’s sponsorship is about maximising participation in the Fringe – and the flow on benefits for our city and state,” Mr Reade said.

Adelaide Fringe’s economic figures are determined by an independent company, Economic Research Consultants, based on FringeTIX sales information and a survey of Fringe-goers, artists and producers.

Looking ahead to next year, the Adelaide Fringe is set to become the most affordable Fringe festival in Australia for artists to take part in, thanks to $1 million of State Government funding. The funding will allow the abolishment of inside charges for artists on tickets under $35 and halve the inside charge on tickets over $35. That means more money in artists’ pockets.

Adelaide Fringe will also be working closely with the South Australian Tourism Commission to continue to grow its interstate and international audiences.

Next year’s Adelaide Fringe will run from 16 February to 18 March, 2018. The program will be launched in December this year.

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Milly writes regular feature articles for Glam Adelaide and blogs significantly less regularly at millypink.com. When she's not writing, she's probably procrastinating having to write something. You can follow Milly on Instagram at @millypink or on Twitter at @millypink1

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