The 2018 Adelaide Fringe dazzled, inspired and delighted its way into the hearts of its audiences to generate a staggering 19.3 per cent increase in visitor expenditure to $29.5 million and a record $90.6 million in gross economic expenditure for South Australia.
Released today, the 2018 Adelaide Fringe Annual Review (you can download the full report here) puts a spotlight on the festival’s overwhelming success in boosting the local economy and giving more back to its artists than ever before.
This year’s Fringe set a new record for visitor spending thanks to more interstate and international festival-goers (up 8 per cent to 20,244) staying longer in Adelaide (visitor bed nights up 21.1 per cent to 97,941).
Glowing responses from grateful Fringe artists also feature in the Review. This year’s festival became the first Fringe in the world to abolish inside charges on ticket sales thanks to a $1 million funding injection from the State Government.
Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said removing the inside charges for tickets under $35 and halving them for all others meant artists and venues received larger box office settlements.
“We’ve had fantastic feedback from artists about how this had a huge impact on their Fringe season. It allowed them to invest more money in production quality, and it made them feel more respected and recognised for the hard work they put into their shows,” Ms Croall said.
“It’s also helped keep ticket prices at the affordable rates our festival is known for. Fringe-goers can do more than just see a show – they can make a whole day or night of it by having a meal and a drink beforehand. And as our Review results show, this brings in extra spending for our local economy.”
The 2018 Fringe is estimated to have attracted 2.7 million attendances across free and ticketed events, including 100,000 for the Opening Night Street Party and 505,000 for the Parade of Light digital projections along North Terrace on every night of the 31-day festival.
Box office revenue reached $16.6 million from 705,761 tickets sold (up 7 per cent) to further cement Adelaide Fringe’s position as the highest ticket selling arts festival in Australia and the second-largest Fringe in the world.
Adelaide Fringe Chair David Minear said the festival had maintained consistent annual growth by pushing creative boundaries, challenging artists to be brave and inspiring audiences to take risks.
“The Adelaide Fringe is a major contributor to the cultural vibrancy of our city and our state. And as shown in our Annual Review, its economic impact just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” Mr Minear said. “We’re so grateful to everyone who helped make our Fringe shine brighter than ever before in 2018, and we look forward to building on this collaborative success in 2019.”
Mr Minear thanked all of the Fringe’s partners, sponsors and supporters – along with its board members, staff and the audiences who are so fiercely passionate about the festival.
“Of course, the biggest thank you must go to our artists – their unbridled creativity, determination and bravery has helped to make this Fringe one of the most positive and enjoyable festivals in the world,” Mr Minear said.
Premier Steven Marshall congratulated the Adelaide Fringe on another successful year and acknowledged the major economic and tourism boost that the event gives South Australia.
“It’s great to see such a huge vote of confidence from interstate and international visitors, and we hope all the newcomers return each year now that they’ve seen first-hand how fantastic the Adelaide Fringe really is,” Mr Marshall said.
Nick Reade, Chief Executive of BankSA, which is the Principal Partner of the Fringe, said the festival continues to go from strength to strength.
“BankSA’s long-standing partnership with the Fringe continues to be all about growing the event and making it accessible to as many people as possible,” Mr Reade said.
“The Fringe is truly a world-class festival which generates a huge amount of vibrancy and activity, and this translates to significant economic benefits for the state.”
Adelaide Fringe’s economic figures are determined by an independent company, Economic Research Consultants, based on FringeTIX sales information and a survey of Fringe-goers, artists and producers.
Next year’s Adelaide Fringe will run from 15 February to 17 March, 2019. The program will be launched in December this year.
2018 Adelaide Fringe Facts & Figures
- 46 per cent of tickets were sold in the three major outdoor hubs, 54 per cent were sold in smaller venues
- Total visitor-related expenditure was $29.5 million (+19.3 per cent on 2017)
- 97,941 visitor bed nights were generated by interstate/international audiences and artists (+21.1 per cent)
- Estimated 2.7 million attendances (+7.3 per cent)
- $16.6 million in box office revenue ($16.2 million in 2017)
- 705,761 tickets were sold (+7 per cent)
- More than 6900 artists, 1231 events and 442 venues
- $90.6 million expenditure generated for SA (+10.7 per cent)
- For every $1 from the State Government, the Fringe generated $38 in gross expenditure for SA
- 349 shows and 204 delegates from 25 countries participated in the Honey Pot arts marketplace, which generated future bookings and touring opportunities worth $2 million (as of June 2018)
- This year the Adelaide Fringe Artist Fund raised a staggering $84,000 in donations to help support Fringe artists and since 2014 has given out nearly $200,000 in grants
- Free Fringe on Tour events across Adelaide and regional SA (including Kangaroo Island for the first time) attracted a total attendance of more than 40,000
Read the full 2018 Annual Review below or download a PDF copy here (4.6MB)
Header Image: Tony Lewis. Artists: Adam Page and the Piping Shrike Band