News August 30, 2019

Bluesfest 2019 injected $83.4m into NSW economy [report]

Bluesfest 2019 injected $83.4m into NSW economy [report]

With Bluesfest Byron Bay’s attendance up 9.2% this year – putting it among the Top 3 biggest in its 30 years – the multi-award winning event continues to pour money into the NSW economy as patrons came from around Australia and the globe.

An economic impact report undertaken by Lawrence Consulting. Shows that the 2019 event poured a total of over $83.4 million into the NSW economy.

The local Byron shire benefitted by $35.5 million and the Northern Rivers region by $59.1 million.

Attendance was up by 13,000 over the previous year. with customer expenditure up 18.7%.

The daily spend of each attendee is put at $304.

The total annual expenditure for Bluesfest Services Pty Ltd on Bluesfest 2019 was approximately $18.4 million in 2018/19.

That included an 18.7% increase in wages/salaries from the year previous with a record number of people hired in NSW alone by the festival (1,454).

Commenting on the report, festival director Peter Noble OAM said “I’m thrilled to think that from its’ humble beginnings as the East Coast Blues Festival in 1990 at the Arts Factory (popularly called the Piggery due to it being an old pig slaughterhouse!), that Bluesfest is now such a critical contributor to the local economy in the tropical surrounds of Byron Bay.

“ Over the 30 years of its existence, Bluesfest has become a pinnacle event in the calendar of Australians and music fans overseas.

“I’m excited to see where the next 30 will bring us as a festival into the Byron. Northern Rivers, NSW and Australian economies.”

Bluesfest is also a significant cultural and tourism attraction for both Australians and overseas visitors.

The attendance for the 30th anniversary edition of Bluesfest in 2019 saw a 9.2% increase recorded from 2018.

Of major importance but not included in the analysis due to the difficulty to enumerate, are the qualitative long-term effects on regional marketing and competitiveness of out-of-region visitors, cumulative broadcast, print and online media coverage.

In addition, Bluesfest Touring Pty Ltd spent over $383,000 in Byron Shire and a further $1.3 million in the rest of NSW from a total of $5.5 million spend in the year 2018/19.

Such figures gives Bluesfest a strong clout with local and state governments, especially with the current festival legislation fiasco.

Noble has told TMN before that two states have contacted him about moving the festival – and its economic boost – to their backyard if NSW proves to be too much of a challenge.

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