Huge increase in visitors helps drive Fringe growth in 2019

The number of interstate and international visitors attending Adelaide Fringe rose by 72 per cent this year, with the festival estimated to have generated a record $95.1 million in spending for the state.

Jun 05, 2019, updated Jun 05, 2019
Adelaide Fringe-goers in the Gluttony hub in Rymill Park in 2019. Photo: Helen Page

Adelaide Fringe-goers in the Gluttony hub in Rymill Park in 2019. Photo: Helen Page

The Fringe’s annual review, released today, says the 31-day festival attracted almost 35,000 visitors from outside South Australia, with visitor bed nights increasing by 53 per cent to 150,257.

According to the report, gross economic expenditure generated by the event was up 5 per cent to $95.1 million, including $36.6 million in spending by out-of-state visitors.

The economic figures are determined by Economic Research Consultants, based on ticket sales information and a survey of Fringe-goers, artists and producers.

Adelaide Fringe director and CEO Heather Croall said the 2019 Fringe had surpassed all previous records.

“This year’s results paint a clear picture of Adelaide Fringe’s continued contribution to both the state’s economy and cultural vibrancy, which is something we can all be proud of,” she said.

“As always, there were countless festival highlights, but one element that stood out in particular and resonated with audiences was our increased focus on Aboriginal participation in the Fringe.”

The Fringe’s signature project this year was Yabarra: Gathering of Light, a free immersive Kaurna storytelling experience along Karrawirra Parri (River Torrens), which attracted 200,000 people.

Attendances at both free and ticketed events across the 2019 Fringe totalled 3.3 million, a 23 per cent increase on last year, according to the annual review.

Box office revenue was up 17 per cent to $19.5 million.

Premier Steven Marshall said in a statement that the “staggering results” proved Adelaide’s mantel of “the Festival State” was going from strength to strength.

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