How Adelaide Fringe re-enforces South Australia’s reputation as the Festival State!

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The party that defines a city smashed it this year with Adelaide Fringe reporting  35,000 interstate and international visitors who came to experience some of the 1326 events across 517 venues in the city!

  • Total visitor-related expenditure was $36.6 million (+24% on 2018)
  • 150,257 visitor bed nights were generated by interstate/international audiences and artists (+53%)
  • Estimated 3.3 million attendances (+23%)
  • $19.5 million in box office revenue ($16.6 million in 2017)
  • 828,563 tickets were sold (+17%)
  • More than 7000 artists, 1326 events and 517 venues
  • $95.1 million expenditure generated for SA (+5%)
  • 457 shows and 256 delegates from 26 countries participated in the Honey Pot arts marketplace, which generated future bookings and touring opportunities worth $3 million (as of June 2019)

Tony Lewis (2018) / JP Media

More than 7000 artists entertained and educated audiences on a broad range of themes including as disability, mental health and the LGBTIQ+ social issues, with more than 450 acts making their Adelaide Fringe debut.

Black Honey Company were the winners of the 2017 Helpmann Award for its boisterous and stereotype-smashing cabaret show Hot Brown Honey / Adelaide Frindge
  • 340 comedy events
  • 276 music events
  • 156 theatre events
  • 135 cabaret events
  • 86 visual art & design talks / workshops
  • 77 children’s events
  • 75 circus and physical theatre acts
  • 52 dance shows
  • 36 interactive events
  • 25 magic performances
  • 10 film and digital showcases
Soda Street / Adelaide Fringe

Of the 517 venues who hosted festival attractions, A Club Adelaide, Tomich Vineyard and the South Australian Jockey Club were among the 108 newcomers who discovered the magic of hosting Fringe events.

In 2016, buildings of North Terrace spring to life with Fringe Illuminations of movement and colour mapped projections on the exteriors of the State Library, the South Australian Museum, the Art Gallery of South Australia and University of Adelaide / Adelaide Fringe

A network of Fringe ‘hubs’ span across suburbia and regional Adelaide – from Gawler to Port Noarlunga, Whyalla to Mount Gambier, while the Fringe on Tour reached the Murray Bridge and IKEA for the first time.

The much-loved festival also generated a record $95.1 million in gross economic expenditure for South Australia, including $36.6 million in visitor spending – up 24%.  Box office revenue reached $19.5 million from 828,563 tickets sold (up 17%) to further cement Adelaide Fringe’s position as the highest ticket selling arts festival in Australia and the second-largest Fringe in the world.

Tony Virgo
“The buzz around Adelaide has been absolutely electric and we are just blown away with what we’ve been able to achieve this year, from record-breaking ticket sales and improving accessibility to putting on one of the biggest celebrations of Indigenous culture that this city has ever seen,” Ms Croall said. “We’re so proud of this year’s program and the reaction from audiences. It’s been really inspiring to see so many artists pushing boundaries and presenting ground-breaking work that people who otherwise feel marginalised can relate to. The party’s not over yet, though! We’re hoping for a fabulously successful closing weekend to put the icing on the cake of what has been a truly magical and unforgettable Fringe season.” – Tony Virgo / Adelaide Fringe

Attendances at free and ticketed events across the 31 days and nights of the Fringe jumped to an incredible 3.3 million (a 23% increase).

Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said this year’s Fringe had surpassed all previous records, which was testament to South Australians’ passion for the festival and the dedication of artists, producers and venues operators.

Artist: Dupang Festival – Trentino Priori / Adelaide Fringe

“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,” Ms Croall 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.”

Adelaide Fringe’s signature project for 2019 Yabarra: Gathering of Light, an immersive Kaurna storytelling experience along Karrawirra Parri (River Torrens), attracted 200,000 people throughout the festival.

Ms Croall said the 2019 Adelaide Fringe was also more accessible for audiences and artists than ever before.  “We want everyone to be able to enjoy the magic of Adelaide Fringe and we made that more possible thanks to a raft of new initiatives and partnerships with Deaf Can:Do and the Royal Society for the Blind.”

AUSLAN / Adelaide Fringe

For the first time in the festival’s history, Adelaide Fringe produced an Access Guide and an accessibility audit of venues was undertaken.

Following this survey, Adelaide Fringe selected seven events that would benefit from having Auslan interpretation and has provided funding to make this possible. Deaf Can: Do has been asked by Fringe artists to provide Auslan interpreters for more than 10 Adelaide Fringe events this year to give the deaf and hard of hearing community an increased opportunity to enjoy the festival.

Premier Steven Marshall said the figures reinforced Adelaide’s reputation as the must-visit festival city in Australia.  “These staggering results prove that Adelaide’s mantel of the Festival State is going from strength to strength. The Fringe is a significant contributor to our economy, and more than that, it transforms SA into the centre of the arts world for an entire month,” Mr Marshall said.

Taking home the title of Best Festival at the 2018 Ruby Awards / Adelaide Fringe.

Nick Reade, Chief Executive of BankSA, which is the Principal Partner of the Fringe, agreed the festival continued to go from strength to strength.  “Year on year, the Fringe plays an important role in fostering new talent, generating jobs and income, and delivering real economic benefits. To South Australians, the Fringe is more than an arts festival – it’s part of who we are; our identity,” Mr Reade said. Screen Shot 2019-08-31 at 7.59.11 PM.png“As South Australia’s local bank, we are passionate about being a catalyst for growth and vibrancy. Our longstanding partnership with the Fringe is just one of the ways we are doing this for the benefit of all South Australians.”

Digital-platform-big.jpgAdelaide 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 Adelaide Fringe will celebrate its 60th anniversary and host the Fringe World Congress. To celebrate the milestone, Adelaide Fringe is releasing a limited edition coffee table book filled with memories from across six decades. The book is available for pre-sale and Adelaide Fringe invites people to contribute a memory at:

The 2020 Adelaide Fringe will run from 14 February to 15 March.
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