The 2018 Adelaide Fringe dazzled, inspired and delighted its way into the hearts of its audiences to generate a staggering 19.3 per cent increase in visitor expenditure to $29.5 million and a record $90.6 million in gross economic expenditure for South Australia.
Released earlier today, the 2018 Adelaide Fringe Annual Review puts a spotlight on the festival’s overwhelming success in boosting the local economy and giving more back to its artists than ever before. This year’s Fringe set a new record for visitor spending thanks to more interstate and international festival-goers (up 8 per cent to 20,244) staying longer in Adelaide (visitor bed nights up 21.1 per cent to 97,941).
Glowing responses from grateful Fringe artists also feature in the Review. This year’s festival became the first Fringe in the world to abolish inside charges on ticket sales thanks to a $1 million funding injection from the State Government.
Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said removing the inside charges for tickets under $35 and halving them for all others meant artists and venues received larger box office settlements. “We’ve had fantastic feedback from artists about how this had a huge impact on their Fringe season,” said Ms Croall “It allowed them to invest more money in production quality, and it made them feel more respected and recognised for the hard work they put into their shows.”
“It’s also helped keep ticket prices at the affordable rates our festival is known for. Fringe-goers can do more than just see a show – they can make a whole day or night of it by having a meal and a drink beforehand. And as our Review results show, this brings in extra spending for our local economy.”
The 2018 Fringe is estimated to have attracted 2.7 million attendances across free and ticketed events, including 100,000 for the Opening Night Street Party and 505,000 for the Parade of Light digital projections along North Terrace on every night of the 31-day festival.
Box office revenue reached $16.6 million from 705,761 tickets sold (up 7 per cent) to further cement Adelaide Fringe’s position as the highest ticket selling arts festival in Australia and the second-largest Fringe in the world. Adelaide Fringe’s economic figures are determined by an independent company, Economic Research Consultants, based on FringeTIX sales information and a survey of Fringe-goers, artists and producers.
Adelaide Fringe Chair David Minear said the festival had maintained consistent annual growth by pushing creative boundaries, challenging artists to be brave and inspiring audiences to take risks. “The Adelaide Fringe is a major contributor to the cultural vibrancy of our city and our state,” said Mr Minear.
“And as shown in our Annual Review, its economic impact just keeps getting bigger and bigger. We’re so grateful to everyone who helped make our Fringe shine brighter than ever before in 2018, and we look forward to building on this collaborative success in 2019.”
Mr Minear thanked all of the Fringe’s partners, sponsors and supporters – along with its board members, staff and the audiences who are so fiercely passionate about the festival. “Of course, the biggest thank you must go to our artists – their unbridled creativity, determination and bravery has helped to make this Fringe one of the most positive and enjoyable festivals in the world,” added Mr Minear.
Premier Steven Marshall congratulated the Adelaide Fringe on another successful year and acknowledged the major economic and tourism boost that the event gives South Australia. “It’s great to see such a huge vote of confidence from interstate and international visitors, and we hope all the newcomers return each year now that they’ve seen first-hand how fantastic the Adelaide Fringe really is,” said Mr Marshall.
The 2019 Adelaide Fringe runs 15 February to 17 March. The program will be launched in December 2018. For more information, visit: www.adelaidefringe.com.au for details.