Adelaide Festival generates $78.3 million for the state

Adelaide Festival 2016 Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, NelkenThe 2016 Adelaide Festival generated an estimated gross expenditure of $78.3 million for the state – an increase of 22% in just two years, the highest result in the festival’s history.

“Adelaide Festival’s economic impact continues to grow year on year, providing a vital injection to the state’s economy,” said Adelaide Festival Chair, Judy Potter. “We are proud of our status as a destination event, and it is encouraging in the current economic climate to see our visitor related expenditure increase at such a significant rate.”

19,800 visitors – almost 30% of total attendees – came from interstate or overseas with visitor bed nights increasing to 133,321. Visitor related expenditure was up 24% to a record $28.2 million – a whopping 94% increase on 2014’s figures.

“The 2016 festival broke a number of records – largest ever ticketed event (Groupe F, A Fleur de Peau), fastest selling dance show (Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Nelken [Carnations]), and highest ever book sales at Adelaide Writers’ Week,” said Adelaide Festival Chief Executive, Sandy Verschoor.

“We are all thrilled at the outcomes of this year’s festival – and are developing partnerships around the globe to grow our cultural tourism numbers even more in 2017 and beyond.”

The independent survey, conducted by Harrison Research and The Economic Research Consultants found that the importance of the festival resonated with audiences too, with 98% of those surveyed stating they consider events such as Adelaide Festival to be important in profiling the city and state.

Running for 18 days and nights across February and March, this year’s festival included seven World Premieres, 20 Australian Premieres and 20 events exclusive to Adelaide.

“Congratulations to the Adelaide Festival on its outstanding success,” said Arts Minister, the Hon. Jack Snelling. “The festival is such an important part of the cultural fabric of South Australia and demonstrates its enormous value in terms of boosting our economy, especially through cultural tourism.

“I’d like to thank outgoing artistic director David Sefton and former CEO Karen Bryant for helping drive the success of the 2016 festival, and I really look forward to what promises to be a dazzling 2017 festival with Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy at the helm,” added Minister Snelling.

The 2017 Adelaide Festival runs Friday 3 March to Sunday 19 March. Adelaide Writers’ Week 2017 runs Saturday 4 March to Thursday 9 March. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Nelken by Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch