Combined arts festivals inject $109 million into SA economy

As proud supporters of the Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Womadelaide and Adelaide Festival, the City of Adelaide recognises the invaluable contribution of the arts and festivals to Adelaide’s cultural character.

As the appetite for unique experience continues to grow, the festivals have helped propel Adelaide’s reputation as a globally-renowned events destination. Collectively, the festivals draw millions of visitors and performers to the State who immerse themselves in the electric creative energy of the city. The impact on the visitor economy is extensive with the combined arts festivals injecting $109 million into the South Australian economy in 2018 alone, as well as creating significant employment in the local market.

Adelaide’s 11 major arts festivals brought more than $109 million of new money into the state economy in 2018, up 27.7% on the previous year.

Umbrella organisation Festivals Adelaide said gross economic expenditure generated by its events – which include the Adelaide Festival, Fringe, Womadelaide and Cabaret Festival – rose by 29.2% to $345.9 million and created 1045 full-time equivalent jobs.

Festivals Adelaide chief executive Christie Anthoney also announced its plan to co-create a bachelor degree majoring in festivals management with the University of South Australia’s new School of Creative Industries.

The degree is intended to capitalise on global growth of festivals and Australia’s creative industries, which are estimated to contribute $90 billion annually to the economy and engage 6.2 per cent of the workforce.

‘‘Jobs within the festival sector are incredibly diverse and can revolve around many other disciplines, most commonly project management, producing, marketing and finance,” Ms Anthoney said.

“It is therefore crucial that the new Bachelor of Creative Industries – Festivals Management Major provide a wide range of skills and direct experiences for this developing sector.”

A paste-up poster commissioned from Adelaide-born artist Peter Drew will highlight the bond festivals build in a community.

Cabaret Festival artistic director Julia Zemiro added that this year’s event, which runs until Saturday, had already attracted almost 28,000 attendances, including free and ticketed events, with 30 sold-out performances so far.

Combined arts festivals inject $109 million into SA economy by Patrick McDonald originally appeared in The Advertiser 19 June 2019.

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