By Melissa Keogh
Adelaide Fringe organisers say the festival has recorded a “staggering” increase in value to the South Australian economy in the past six years, with this year’s event bringing in $24m of new money to the State.
The festival’s annual review, released today, shows the number of tickets sold, attendances, and total economic expenditure and visitor spend related to the Fringe has almost doubled since 2011.
The 2017 Adelaide Fringe attracted 2.52 million people, while total expenditure related to the event hit $81.4m.
The festival drew more than 18,655 interstate and overseas visitors, up 38%, who stayed more than 80,800 nights in South Australia.
The Adelaide Fringe is the largest arts festival in the southern hemisphere, attracting more than 5000 national and international acts to feature in pop-up venues, parks, laneways, theatres, bars, and pubs.
The event transforms the city into a hive of eclectic comedy, circus, cabaret, film, dance and magical works for one month from mid-February until mid-March.
More than 658,300 tickets were sold in 2017, taking box office revenue to $16.2m – most of which goes directly to artists – up 80% in five years.
Adelaide Fringe director and executive officer Heather Croall said the festival was proud to be the world’s second largest fringe festival after Scotland’s capital, 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,” she says.
Today – July 11 – is also the inaugural World Fringe Day, celebrating 70 years of the fringe festival model, which started in Edinburgh.
Arts Minister Jack Snelling congratulated Adelaide Fringe on its ongoing success.
“The Fringe plays an important role in fostering new and emerging artists, as well as providing a platform for those who are established,” he says.
Adelaide Fringe’s economic figures are determined by an independent company, Economic Research Consultants, based on ticket sales information and a survey of Fringe-goers, artists and producers.
Adelaide Fringe organisers will launch the 2018 program in December, ready to set the streets alight with colour and magic from February 18 to March 18.