RECORD ticket sales and tourist numbers are helping to cement the Adelaide Fringe as the second biggest event of its kind in the world.
Figures released today show 2016 ticket sales were up 11 per cent to 604,000 (AU$14.8 million) while total expenditure related to the event was $77.6 million, up almost 13 per cent on last year’s figure of $68.8 million.
This year’s event, which ran from February 12 to March 14 in the South Australian capital of Adelaide, attracted about 13,500 international and interstate visitors. The total estimated number of visitor bed nights rose to almost 77,200, a 14 per cent increase on the 2015 figure.
Adelaide Fringe Chair David Minear said South Australians wholeheartedly supported the Adelaide Fringe and the numbers proved it.
“The magic and power of the Adelaide Fringe has economic, cultural and social benefits for South Australia and adds incredible value to the state,” Minear said.
“The number of people visiting South Australia specifically to attend the Adelaide Fringe increased 11 per cent this year compared to 2015, which shows that interstate and international audiences are increasingly hungry to experience what the Adelaide Fringe has to offer.”
The 2016 event featured more than 4400 artists, 1124 events and 430 venues. A crowd of more than 66,000 people lined the city streets to watch the opening night Fringe Parade, led by Fringe Ambassador Julian Clary.
In comparison, the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe hosted 3314 shows across 313 venues, making it the largest ever arts festival in the world.
The 2016 Adelaide Fringe also generated $14.8 million in box office revenue – most of which goes directly to artists – a 64 per cent increase in five years. Ticket sales were up 11 per cent to 604,000 and attendances also sky rocketed to 2.26 million, an 8.4 per cent increase on 2015.
Adelaide Fringe Artistic Director and CEO Heather Croall said the Adelaide Fringe was by far the highest ticket selling multi-art form festival in Australia.
“I am thrilled at the outcomes of my first year as head of Adelaide Fringe,” Croall said.
“We recorded outstanding results across the board, Adelaide should be very proud of this incredible festival. The growth in the number of tourists coming to Adelaide Fringe this year shows the word is out, which is very encouraging and sets us well on our way to our target of tripling tourism numbers over three years.”
South Australian Arts Minister Jack Snelling congratulated Adelaide Fringe on the milestone and its success.
“The Fringe not only captures the public’s imagination with its celebration of so many art forms, it also brings thousands of additional dollars, jobs and tourists into South Australia,” he said.
“The State Government, through Arts South Australia, is looking forward to helping showcase the world’s second largest Fringe, at the world’s largest – Edinburgh – as part of our Made in Adelaide activation in August.”
The event’s economic figures are determined by independent company Economic Research Consultants based on FringeTIX sales information and a survey of Fringe-goers, artists and producers.
Next year’s Adelaide Fringe will run from February 17 to March 19. The program will be launched in November this year.
Photo: Trentino Priori