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Gold Coast plans to lead economic recovery of Australia’s festival industry

Gold Coast plans to lead economic recovery of Australia’s festival industry
March 23, 2021

The Gold Coast plans to spearhead the Australian festival industry’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 shutdown with more than 20 festivals having been confirmed to take place on the Gold Coast in 2021. According to the region’s peak major events organisation, Major Events Gold Coast (MEGC), this will help to generate approximately $200 million for the Gold Coast economy.

Founder and event director of the Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC) Carlina Ericson says that a year after the Federal Government’s ban on ‘non-essential mass gatherings of 500+ people’ came into effect, the Gold Coast is leading the economic recovery of Australia’s festival industry.

Ericson notes “when you look at the amount of announcements that have been made this year alone relating to the return of festivals in 2021, it’s really quite impressive.

MEGC is charged with the responsibility of igniting the city with a vibrant array of festivals, sporting and cultural events that showcase the Gold Coast as a world-class, global events destination.

MEGC Chief Executive, Jan McCormick, who will be presenting at the AFIC, says the organisation “is committed to showcasing Australia’s Gold Coast as one of the most sought-after destinations to present, attend or participate in an event.

“We are absolutely thrilled that the Gold Coast has been successful in securing the 2021 Australian Festival Industry Conference. It is a wonderful opportunity to boost our city’s economy and showcase all that the city has to offer”.

More than 150 delegates are expected to travel to the Gold Coast for the conference which will take place from 1st to 3rd September 2021 at Sea World Resort.

Last week’s $1.2 billion tourism package announcement by the Federal Government provides the Gold Coast and Australia’s festival industry with even more opportunities to recover as it navigates its way through a post COVID-19 world.

Austrade’s ‘Business Events Grant Program’ encourages potential sponsors or exhibitors to apply for a 50% reimbursement of their associated costs through the Federal Government.

The minimum spend has been reduced to $10,000 (originally $20,000), meaning that anyone who is interested in partnering or exhibiting at any business event listed on the program’s ‘Schedule of Approved Business Events’, can apply to claim $5,000 back from Austrade. Additionally, the deadline for applications has been extended to 30th June 2021.

Ericson adds “I have been actively lobbying the Tourism Minister for some time now on changes to Austrade’s program, explaining that due to the severe economic impact that COVID-19 has had upon Australia’s festival industry, the Program’s conditions currently act as a barrier to participation and, therefore, has a direct flow on effect to the industry’s overall recovery rate.

“AFIC enables suppliers from the Gold Coast, and indeed across the country, to get in front of some of the country’s top festival decision makers and this program will be crucial to their post-COVID-19 economic recovery.”

The Gold Coast is also included in the half-price airline ticket program which will run from 1st April to 30th September 2021.

This means that festival professionals from across the country will have access to discounted travel to attend AFIC and acts a prime incentive for them to extend their stay and explore the Gold Coast’s pristine beaches, top-quality restaurants and various theme parks.

Ericson continues “I’m really excited about what the recent announcements mean for the recovery of the Australian festival industry and the Gold Coast’s tourism economy.

“I would encourage everyone to take advantage of these limited time government incentives that are designed to kick-start the national economy so that we can all get back to work.”

The following Gold Coast-based festivals will proceed in 2021:

  • Beyond the Sands Art Festival
  • Gondwana Festival
  • Storyfest Writers Festival
  • Gold Coast Film Festival
  • Gold Coast Running Festival
  • Rosé Coast Gold Coast
  • Inverted Festival
  • Under the Southern Stars
  • Blues on Broadbeach
  • Cooly Rocks On
  • Village Roadshow Theme Parks Marathon
  • Pan Pacific Masters Games
  • Gold Coast Cheese, Chilli & Chocolate Festival
  • Beach Rugby Australia Festival
  • SWELL Sculpture Festival
  • Crafted Beer & Cider Festival
  • Gold Coast Multicultural Festival
  • Groundwater Country Music Festival
  • Festival of Touch
  • FISIOCREM GC50 Run Festival
  • Gold Coast 600 & Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500

Image top of Groundwater Country Music Festival courtesy of Major Events Gold Coast  

Related Articles

25th February 2021 - AALARA to replace single annual conference with one-day events in Sydney, Melbourne and on the Gold Coast

27th January 2021 - Gold Coast secures full program of events for 2021

5th January 2021 - Gold Coast Council announces grants to promote live music

20th November 2020 - Gold Coast’s HOTA Gallery announces 2021 program

29th October 2020 - Gold Coast welcomes the return of live music with new summer music festival

21st March 2021 - Adelaide Fringe successfully delivers the largest festival during global pandemic

16th March 2021 - 2021 Adelaide Festival beats box office target

15th March 2021 - Continuing large outdoor event restrictions see Taste Tamworth Festival 2021 cancelled

9th March 2021 - LiveFit Festival announces new dates for 2021

9th March 2021 - Goulburn to hold new one-off festival

8th March 2021 - Australian Festival Industry Conference to return as a live event

26th February 2021 - Newcastle’s inaugural New Annual festival boosts Newcastle’s arts sector

19th February 2021 - City of Melbourne reverses decision to cancel Moomba festival

15th February 2021 - Perth Festival opens today celebrating a rich diversity of community

2nd February 2021 - Western Australia regional festivals receive funding boost

8th January 2021 - Auckland Unlimited to deliver festivals on city’s waterfront

8th July 2020 - Festivals plan for 2021 editions with improved health measures


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