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2020 Darwin Festival breaks sales record despite Coronavirus

2020 Darwin Festival breaks sales record despite Coronavirus
August 17, 2020

The organisers of the Darwin Festival have advised that, throwing off COVID-19 fears, its 2020 edition posted the highest proportion of sold-out shows in the event’s 41-year history.

Advising that the Festival saw 98% of shows sold out across 253 free and ticketed events over its 11-day program, Darwin Festival Artistic Director, Felix Preval told the NT News “we had a record number of sold-out shows last year, but it was nowhere near 98%.

“That’s not a statistics that any festival is pulling off.

“I think the response is really a testament to the desire in the Darwin community to see local artists celebrated and succeed, especially in acknowledgment of what a trying time it’s been for the creative sector. That, and people were looking for a reason, after a difficult few months, to come together and celebrate, and we’ve been fortunate enough up here for that to be possible.”

With travel restrictions preventing most planned interstate artists from attending, 94% of the 396 artists performing were from the Northern Territory.

The Festival introduced a number of coronavirus precautions including capped crowd numbers at Festival Park and the inclusion of online shows in the program for the first time.

Advising that the success of this year’s Festival will change the way they engage with local artists in the future, Prival added “it’s given us an opportunity to stand back and look constructively at how we run our event, and we’re very pleased we have been able to achieve what we have during a pandemic.”

NT Major Events Company Chief Executive, Tim Watsford said the organisers had “done a fantastic job kicking off the Top End’s delayed events season”.

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