Adelaide Festival breaks attendance records

Nearly 480,000 people have attended 2024 Adelaide Festival events including WOMADelaide and Adelaide Writers’ Week.

Mar 15, 2024, updated Mar 15, 2024
'Little Amal' at Festival Plaza on Friday. Photo: Tony Lewis/Adelaide Festival

'Little Amal' at Festival Plaza on Friday. Photo: Tony Lewis/Adelaide Festival

Adelaide Festival organisers said on Friday that 2024 attendances had beaten the previous record of 390,000, recorded in 2020 just before Covid lockdowns hit Adelaide.

This year’s numbers were nearly double that of the 2023 festival, which had 242,000 attendances across 282 performances.

Nearly 64,000 tickets had been sold to 2024 Adelaide Festival performances ahead of the final weekend, with 30 per cent of sales to interstate visitors.

More than 317,000 people have attended concerts, exhibitions and installations, with the number expected to rise significantly over this last weekend of attractions including Little Amal, Floods of Fire and the Whale.

The Adelaide Festival said The Whale attracted 100,000 people to Glenelg before it was moved to Elder Park, where 25,000 people have so far visited.

Adelaide Writers Week had 155,000 people attend over six days, with 202 writers presenting at the 130 sessions.

Adelaide Festival chair Tracey Whiting said the 2024 festival had been a “celebration of the vibrancy of the arts and the spirit of our community”.

“It has resonated with audiences from all walks of life…we look forward to nurturing creativity and fostering cultural connections in the years to come,” said Whiting, who is a Director of Solstice Media, the publisher of InDaily.

Adelaide Festival chief executive Kath Mainland said the event offered an “unparalleled experience” to audiences.

“March in Adelaide… really is the best place in the world to be,” she said.

“Adelaide Festival stands as Australia’s premier international festival, and witnessing world-class international artists share the stage with their talented counterparts from South Australia has been an absolute delight.”

To end the festival, the 3.5 metre “Little Amal” puppet will appear on Friday at Festival Plaza and Rundle Mall, before being moved to Semaphore and the University of Adelaide tomorrow, and then the Riverbank pedestrian bridge on Sunday.

The state government said the puppet of a 10-year old Syrian refugee girl has become a global symbol of human rights and refugees.

The Adelaide Fringe reported that it had sold 963,500 tickets as of Friday morning. It said that more than 55,000 interstate visitors attended events, boosting hotel occupancy by 10 per cent from the 2023 Fringe season which sold a record one million tickets.

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