29/05/2019 - 10:56

Top marks for Perth Festival

29/05/2019 - 10:56

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This year's Perth Festival encouraged 7,300 tourists to visit Western Australia while box office sales increased 21 per cent from 2018, the festival’s impact report has shown.

Top marks for Perth Festival
The festival opening, Boorna Waanginy, offered a spectacular light and sound show in Kings Park to a crowd of 202,328 people. Photo: Jessica Wyld

This year's Perth Festival encouraged 7,300 tourists to visit Western Australia while box office sales increased 21 per cent from 2018, the festival’s impact report has shown.

The 2019 Perth Festival report, compiled by consultancy Culture Counts, measured the economic, social and cultural impacts of the festival by surveying 6,600 festival attendees and combining ticket data and wider expenditure analysis.

The report showed the box office made $5.4 million compared to $4.3 million in 2018, with more than 140,000 tickets sold, a 14 per cent increase from the previous year.

The event attracted 7,300 people from interstate and overseas, with 40 per cent of tourists surveyed coming to Perth specifically for the festival, staying an average of 9.5 nights and attending 3.9 festival events.

The festival also engaged locals who wouldn’t normally attend arts events.

The festival opening, Boorna Waanginy, offered a spectacular light and sound show in Kings Park to a crowd of 202,328 people, a third of whom said it was their first or a rare outing to an arts event.

The festival’s direct economic impact, including ticket sales and spending by its organisers, was $19 million and provided a flow-on economic value of $26.4 million to the state, a 2 per cent increase from 2018.

However, people spent half the money they did last year, with an average spend of $23 at the festival in 2019 compared to $58 in 2018, excluding ticket price.

Perth Festival executive director Nathan Bennett said the 2019 festival was an outstanding conclusion of artistic director Wendy Martin’s four-year vision.

“We owe a very big thanks to our audiences, sponsors and donors whose support for the festival makes such a major, indelible positive impact on our community,” Mr Bennett said.

“We can’t wait to see even more people at the festival again next year as new artistic director Iain Grandage builds on our legacy of enriching life in Western Australia through art.”

Culturally, most people said the festival made them feel proud of their local area, up 6 per cent from last year, and better connected to the community, up 5 per cent.  

People surveyed gave the festival a net promoter score of 61, a large increase from the 33 given in 2018.

About half of the 1,407 artists featured in the festival were from WA, with a further 11 per cent from interstate and 36 per cent from overseas.  

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