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The numbers are in for the 2023 Adelaide Festival, with the event generating an estimated gross expenditure of $57.6 million for the state (increased from $51.8 million in 2022).

Adelaide Festival has also secured an additional $2.3 million from the South Australian Government, enabling it to continue to attract major international events over the next three years.

Adelaide Festival’s impact on South Australia’s Gross State Product saw a 44% increase on 2022 figures, reaping an estimated $38.1 million in newly created income for the State. Visitor bed nights increased to 105,943 (up from 103,335 in 2022), with an average spend per visitor in South Australia of $4,676 (up 47% from $3,168 in 2022) and created the equivalent of 324 full-time jobs (up from 250 in 2022).

The Festival’s opening week of exclusive, Adelaide-only events attracted large audiences with 40% travelling to Adelaide from interstate and overseas.

The Festival continued to engage strongly with young audiences through the youth and education program in 2023, with 5,114 tickets sold to 75 schools from South Australia and interstate, and new year-long artistic program Create4Adelaide. Yesterday, Adelaide Festival launched the Create4Adelaide Open Call with the SALA Festival, inviting all South Australian young people to submit their artwork by using #C4A on social media or on the Create4Adelaide website.

The Premier of South Australia Peter Malinauskas MP said: “I am delighted to witness the incredible impact of Adelaide Festival on our state's economy. These figures unequivocally demonstrate the Festival not only delivers significant value but also reinforces its pivotal role in our cultural landscape. Being the premier international arts festival in Australia, Adelaide Festival continues to shine on the global stage. The State Government is injecting an extra $2.3 million in support over the next three years, aimed at bolstering the Festival's growth and increasing its capacity to attract major international events.”

Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels MP said: “It is wonderful to see the remarkable achievements of Adelaide Festival in 2023 as it bounces back from the impact of the pandemic and firmly establishes South Australia as the premier festival destination in Australia. We know Adelaide Festival is vitally important to the cultural vitality of our state – this announcement shows its tremendous worth in terms of fuelling our economy, as a crucial force driving tourism and employment.”

Adelaide Festival Artistic Director Ruth Mackenzie CBE said: “AF 2023 was a great success, and we are absolutely delighted that the Festival continues to demonstrate its importance to the South Australian economy. Adelaide Festival's ability to foster connections between audiences, communities and the world's most extraordinary performers, writers and artists plays a crucial role in its cultural significance as well as its economic influence. Each March these collective experiences continue to attract visitors from all over Australia and further afield, joining the 900 artists from 18 countries who make up Australia’s premier arts festival.”

Adelaide Festival Chair Judy Potter said: “The additional funding from the South Australian Government is essential for Adelaide Festival to attract major works to our state. The support plays a significant role in delivering a successful and impactful Festival, driving positive economic outcomes and fostering cultural enrichment and growth. With additional funding from the South Australian Government over the next three years, the Festival is set to thrive and make vibrant contributions to our region's artistic tapestry.”

Photo credit: Andrew Beveridge