News June 24, 2019

Report: Adelaide festivals pump $109m into SA economy

Report: Adelaide festivals pump $109m into SA economy
Image: WOMADelaide

The 11 Adelaide music and arts festivals under umbrella organisation Festivals Adelaide injected $109 million of “new money” into the South Australian economy in 2018, says a new report.

This was a 27.7% growth from the year before, said Festivals Adelaide chief executive Christie Anthoney.

The 11 include WOMADelaide, , Adelaide Fringe Adelaide Guitar Festival, Feast Festival and Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

The economic impact study showed the gross economic expenditure rose by 29.2% to $345.9 million in 2018.

Collective attendance hit 4.48 million and 1,153, 404 tickets issued; and state and local governments invested $19.1 million into the festivals.

The events created 1,025 equivalent full-time jobs.

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

As a result of this growth, Festivals Adelaide has partnered with the University of South Australia’s new School of Creative Industries to create a first-for-the-state bachelor degree majoring in festivals management.

She said, “It is therefore crucial that (it) provides a wide range of skills and direct experiences for this developing sector.”

The three-year course will cover skills-developing initiatives, projects, problem solving and direct placements within the industry.

Among lecturers will be WOMADelaide’s Ian Scobie on budgets and the Fringe’s Heather Croall on digital growth.

The festivals’ economic performance was rewarded by the SA government in its June 18 budget.

The Adelaide Festival, whose $1 million ox office last year was its highest in its 59-year history, received an extra $1.25 million to secure major events over the next three years.

This was in contrast to festivals and organisations covering fashion, theatre and youth arts who had their funding scrapped or decreased.

Currently, many arts organisations are dealing with cost-cutting exercises after funding cuts in last year’s budget, totalling $18.5 million over four years, estimated the Arts Industry Council of SA.

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