Adelaide Fringe 2023 Sells One Million Tickets and Generates $105.5 Million in Economic Expenditure to South Australia

Mon, Jun 26 2023
Adelaide Fringe has once again cemented its status as one of the world's leading arts festivals, generating $105.5 million in expenditure for the state of South Australia – a 40% increase on 2022.
Two performers stand on the stage with their hands towards the sky.
The Marvellous Elephant Man. Photo Razan Fakhouri 2023
The Adelaide Fringe made headlines and history at 10pm on the closing night claiming the title of the first Australian festival to ever sell one million tickets. 

Interstate and international tourism was a massive contributor to the economic impact of the Adelaide Fringe, with new money to the state totaling $84.3 million, a 68% increase from the previous year's figure. 

Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said, “A big part of our strategy in making Fringe as successful as possible and supporting artists and venues as best we could with new audiences, was to focus on interstate tourism, which has clearly paid off with more tourists and more tourism dollars to the state than ever before as a result of Fringe” 

“Hitting the one million ticket milestone couldn’t have happened without the national awareness of Adelaide Fringe to drive new visitors to South Australia to experience our great festival and state”, said Heather. 

45,000 visitors descended on South Australia and Adelaide to attend Adelaide Fringe with the spend per tourist significantly increasing on the previous year from $2,258 to $3,420 (a 51% increase on 2022).

The spend per tourist has increased from $607 to $3420 since 2017, this is attributed to the average stay of Fringe visitors gradually increasing year on year and increased engagement with local businesses such as hotels and restaurants. 

Additional economic and tourism outcomes of this year’s Adelaide Fringe include 230,000 visitor bed nights with local, interstate and international visitors and artists utilising South Australian accommodation. 

In a local context, one in every two South Aussies are estimated to have attended an Adelaide Fringe event in 2023, signalling massive local love for Australia’s Biggest Arts Festival.

2023’s box office revenue soared to $25.1 million (a 21% increase on 2022) with $24 million of this paid directly to artists and venues.

Adelaide Fringe receives 4 million in State Government funding each year from the Malinauskas Government, with the recent insights of Fringe’s economic impact report, this indicates a return on investment of $25 for every one dollar of State Government  funding. No other festival in South Australia delivers this level of return on funding for the state economy. 

Minister for Arts, Andrea Michaels MP said, “Adelaide Fringe is an iconic and much-loved event in South Australia and this year’s results well and truly cement our reputation as the arts capital of Australia. The Malinauskas Labor Government has nearly doubled the Adelaide Fringe’s funding, investing an additional $8 million over four years to support the artists and venues and attract thousands of tourists to our state. The Fringe’s incredible success in 2023 proves the value of that investment.”

In 2023 Fringe generated almost 10,000 direct and indirect jobs as a result of the festival, a 56% increase on the previous year. 

BankSA State General Manager, Consumer, David Firth said “BankSA is thrilled to have partnered with Adelaide Fringe for the 18th consecutive year. As the Principal Partner of Adelaide Fringe we take great pride in championing the event and couldn’t have been more excited for Fringe and South Australia to make history as the first Australian festival ever to sell one million tickets.” 

“BankSA made it a breeze for people to attend while keeping shows affordable and supporting emerging artists. The new digital BankSA MyFringe Planner helped over $223,000 people plan their Fringe experiences online. Our ever popular 25 percent off ticket offer for cardholders supported over $763,000 worth of ticket sales, and we subsidised tickets to a range of shows by new artists with BankSA Support Act tickets. It was fantastic to see South Australians embrace this year’s Fringe. 

The Adelaide Fringe’s Arts Marketplace, Honey Pot, was abuzz with delegates and artists connecting to discuss deals and future work in 2023 with 353 delegates from across the globe attending Fringe to find new and exciting works to program into festivals and events across the world. More than $3 million in future touring deals are already in discussion between artists and delegates from the 2023 season, further strengthening Adelaide Fringe and South Australia as a creative industries exporter. 
Read the full Impact Report here.

Adelaide Fringe’s 2024 season will run from February 16 to March 17.