Amid Rising Living Costs Adelaide Fringe Delivers Big for South Australia in 2024

Wed, Jun 26 2024
Adelaide Fringe has once again demonstrated its pivotal role in the cultural and economic identity of South Australia, achieving remarkable milestones in 2024. Over the past decade, Fringe has shown exponential growth with the event becoming a destination for culture seekers and artists both locally and from across the globe.
Performer in a sparkly gold jumpsuit and disco ball hat looking surprised on stage.
Yozi - No Babies in The Sauna. Photo: Razan Fakhouri, Adelaide Fringe 2024
This year, Adelaide Fringe delivered a very strong return on investment for the State Government by generating a staggering $149 million in total gross economic expenditure for South Australia. 

Interstate and international tourism played a substantial role in this economic impact, with new money to the state amounting to $121 million, a six-fold increase from $18 million of new money delivered to the state by visitors as a result of  Fringe in 2014. Adelaide Fringe's committed and strategic focus on attracting more visitors year on year has clearly paid off, with tourism contributing significantly to these outcomes. 

The increase in tourist spend at Adelaide Fringe had an overwhelming impact on the tickets sold as well as retail, hospitality and accommodation with an impressive 306,318 visitor nights generated. 

Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said, "This year, we took a retrospective look at Fringe's economic outcomes, comparing them to 2014 to showcase the remarkable uplift we have delivered over the past decade. By strategically expanding our reach and drawing in new audiences from interstate and overseas, we have achieved unprecedented results, with a significant increase in tourists and economic contributions over this ten-year period."

"Adelaide Fringe plays a pivotal role in enhancing the lives of South Australians, not only culturally but economically as well, with one in every two South Aussies attending Fringe. The impact we’ve seen from this year’s event  is a testament to everyone who attends and participates in Fringe. The challenge we all face now is to continue to keep the Fringe strong as we go forward in these extremely tough times amid rising costs."
Major Economic Outcomes for 2024 include: 
  • $121M New money to SA (up from $18M in 2014 – 6-fold increase)
  • 13,553 Direct and Indirect jobs created (up from 1930 in 2014 – 7-fold increase)
  • 306,318 Visitor nights created (up from 61,217 in 2014 – 5-fold increase)
  • $27M Total Box Office - this is not kept by the Fringe, it is paid out to artists and  venues to offset their costs of their shows (10 years ago, the Adelaide Fringe Box Office was $11M)
  • $187M Total Media Value
Minister for Arts, Andrea Michaels MP, said, "Adelaide Fringe is an iconic event in South Australia and the Malinauskas Government is a proud supporter of this much-loved festival with continued investment in its success. Fringe's remarkable growth over the past decade has helped cement our state's reputation as the arts capital of Australia. Fringe has a significant cultural and economic impact in South Australia drawing thousands of visitors, boosting small businesses and creating opportunities for artists.”

BankSA State General Manager, Consumer, Enza Ferraro, said “At BankSA, we’ve been backing the things that matter in South Australia for more than 175 years. There are few events that matter more than Adelaide Fringe, and that’s why we’ve been proud to support the event for the past 19 years. We’ve watched Fringe grow to become the cultural phenomenon our customers and wider community love, and this year’s economic outcomes demonstrate the event’s huge impact. Congratulations to the team on another fantastic year.”

As Adelaide Fringe continues to evolve and economic conditions change, the role Australia’s biggest arts festival plays in South Australia's economy and cultural landscape becomes increasingly important.