06/06/2019 - 16:56

Box office booms at Fringe World

06/06/2019 - 16:56


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Box office sales at this year's Fringe World Festival were up by 15 per cent on 2018 figures, while 13 per cent more people attended ticketed events, according to a report released last night.

Box office booms at Fringe World
This year's Fringe World facilitated a direct spend of $78 million in the state's economy. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Fringe World Festival’s box office sales increased by 15 per cent this year and 13 per cent more people attended ticketed events though total attendance decreased by 5 per cent, according to a report launched last night.

The Fringe World Festival Impact Report, based on 4,472 online audience responses, other surveys completed by artists, staff and local businesses and ticket data, reported box office sales of over $12 million, about $2 million more than in 2018.

In 2019, 414,905 people bought tickets, compared to 368,498 in 2018 but the number of total festival attendees decreased from 905,000 in 2018 to 857,000 in 2019, which Fringe World attributed to the removal of Noodle Palace from the program.

The festival created 2,205 jobs, an increase of 18 per cent from 2018, and facilitated a direct spend of $78 million.

The average ticket price increased from $29.09 in 2018 to $32.25 in 2019, edging closer to matching the ticket price of the Perth Festival of $36.66.

The Fringe festival's total income this year was $25 million - this was sourced from box office and product sales (78 per cent), in-kind sponsorship (10 per cent), cash sponsorship (6 per cent), state funding (5 per cent) and donations (1 per cent), a similar share to the 2018 season.

Of the sales revenue, 45.5 per cent was from the box office and 13.9 per cent was from the sale of food and beverages.

A majority of surveyed business owners (70 per cent) said the festival had a positive impact on their business, with 77 per cent of patrons eating at a restaurant before or after a show and 71 per cent having a drink.

Fringe World Festival director Amber Hasler said the festival was an important platform which supported the local cultural ecology through direct presentation opportunities for local artists.

“Fringe World is also a festival that delivers significant flow-on benefits for the WA cultural community and sector, through growing engagement with a mainstream and non-traditional arts market that, through Fringe, give cultural consumption a go,” Ms Hasler said.

The festival attracted people who wouldn’t traditionally see arts performances with 47 per cent attending events three or four times a year and 12 per cent attending one or two.

Culturally, it increased belonging, with 84 per cent of people surveyed experiencing increased pride in Perth and 89 per cent said it bought the community together.

The festival was the last to be overseen by Artrage chief executive Marcus Canning, after 17 years with the organisation.

“Launching and rapidly growing such a game-changer of a festival with a dedicated Fringe World team has been a thrilling adventure,” Mr Canning said.

“To have assisted Artrage to grow its annual turnover of less than $350,000 in 2002 to over $25 million in 2019 will continue to be a source of great pride.

“It’s a great time to welcome the next Artrage chief.

“The organisation has never been stronger and the future is looking dazzingly bright for Fringe World.”

Incoming chief executive Sharon Burgess will start her role in September after completing the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe season.


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