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Study shows Perth festival has major impact on community spirit and arts initiatives

Study shows Perth festival has major impact on community spirit and arts initiatives
May 30, 2019

A new report on the Perth Festival by analysts Culture Counts shows that almost every key measure of artistic quality and social, cultural and economic impact increased in 2019 from the year before. Most people surveyed said the Festival made them feel proud of Perth and better connected to their community.

More than 7,300 overseas and interstate visitors made a big economic impact on WA through the Festival last summer, recording 26,650 attendances and staying a combined 65,112 nights while they were here. 40% of surveyed tourists said they had come to Perth specifically for the Festival.

The Festival’s direct economic impact was $19 million, providing flow-on economic value to the State of $26.4 million and generating 581 full-time equivalent jobs.

Away from the spotlight, the Festival made a major impact with its arts sector development initiatives and the most comprehensive creative learning and education program of any arts festival in Australia. More than 4,100 students in 45 schools took part in exceptional creative experiences in 2019.

Other key points:

• The Festival successfully attracted new audiences, with 17% of people attending for the first time. 
• A third of the 202,328 people at the free opening spectacle Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak were making their very first or a rare outing to any arts event at all. 
• Tourists stayed in Perth an average of 9.5 nights and saw 3.9 Festival shows each. 
• Box office was $5.4 million, up 21% from $4.3 million in 2018. 
• The 147,355 tickets sold was a 14% increase from 2018. 
• Total attendance was 454,986 at 312 free and ticketed Festival events. 
• Audiences came from 99% of postcodes across the Perth metropolitan area. 
• Nearly all those surveyed (97%) said Australia’s longest-running international arts festival played an important role in our State’s cultural life (up 1%) 
• Some 96% of people said the Festival delivered high quality cultural experiences for the people of Western Australian (up 2%). 
• Audiences spent $9.28 million on Festival events, meals, drinks, accommodation and other associated activities. 
• The Festival spent $9.34 million on Western Australian artists, suppliers and workers. 
• The Festival featured 1407 artists from around the world (53% from WA, 11% interstate, 36% overseas). 

Commenting on the success of the event, Festival Executive Director Nathan Bennett stated "this year, we were thrilled to welcome Festival audiences and artists in their hundreds of thousands – Western Australians and visitors from elsewhere sharing magic moments and unforgettable memories together.

“The 2019 Festival was an outstanding conclusion of Artistic Director Wendy Martin’s four-year vision to celebrate this incredible corner of the world and the stories that make it unique.

“We owe a very big thanks to our audiences, sponsors and donors whose support for the Festival makes such a major, indelible positive impact on our community.

“We can’t wait to see even more people at the Festival again next year as new Artistic Director Iain Grandage builds on our legacy of enriching life in Western Australia through art.”

The Culture Counts report combined ticketing data with wider expenditure analysis and a survey of more than 6600 people. 

Click here to read the full report.

Image: Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak in Kings Park, 2019 Perth Festival. Image: Jessica Wyld.

Related Articles

10th May 2019 - Perth ticket scammer pleads guilty over social media sales of fake concert tickets

3rd February 2019 - Perth Festival set to deliver a number of world premieres 

1st January 2019 - Perth festival goers to be offered on-site STI testing

19th November 2018 - International Visitors to Australia more likely to go to an arts event than wineries, casinos or sport

11th June 2018 - Perth Festival makes an impact on Western Australia

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