A new report has confirmed Perth Festival’s significant positive impact on Western Australia’s social, cultural and economic life.

The report, by Perth-based international performance analysts Culture Counts, said there were 460,659 attendances (up 18% from 389,000 last year) for Artistic Director Wendy Martin’s 2018 Festival program acclaimed for its diversity, excellence and value to the community.

New audiences increased by 12% at a Festival that included 270 free and paid events featuring 651 Western Australian artists and 503 visiting international and Australian artists. The average ticket price was $29.38.

Some 96% of survey respondents said Perth Festival was important to our local cultural life and 94% said it delivered high-quality cultural experiences to the people of Western Australia.

Beyond the packed theatres, the Festival made a big impact with its education and arts sector development initiatives in community halls, workshops and schools across with more than 3,000 Western Australians develoing their creative skills through the Festival Connect program and more than 4,700 students taking part in the Education Program.

Festival audiences spent $4.3 million at the box office and an additional $9.9 million on meals, drinks, accommodation and other associated activities. Combined with the impact of the Festival’s own expenditure, the flow-on economic impact to Western Australia was $25.6 million.

About $8.2 million of Festival expenditure went to Western Australian artists, suppliers and workers, helping to create 562 full-time equivalent jobs.

The 6751 visitors to Perth from intrastate, interstate and overseas comprised 7% of Festival audiences. They stayed a total of 26,501 nights and spent $1.052 million on accommodation alone.

Released as Australia’s longest-running curated arts festival marks its 65th anniversary this year, the report also found:

• 98% of people believe the State Government should invest in the local arts and cultural sector; 
• 96% of Festival Connect participants wanted to take part in the arts sector development initiative again next year; 
• 86% of artists said the Festival had opened new opportunities for them;
• 95% of teachers said the Festival gave their students incomparable arts education experiences.

Commenting on the importance of the event, Perth Festival Executive Director Nathan Bennett stated “we are thrilled with this confirmation that our city hosts one of the greatest curated arts festivals in the world, attracting tourists and the best international artists to Perth, fostering Western Australian talent and developing our capacity for innovation.

“Perth Festival enhances our community’s vitality, social health, tourism appeal, economic growth and international reputation.

“This report represents the biggest and most significant dataset ever captured by the Festival and we will use it as a new baseline by which we can measure future success in our mission to enrich life through art in Western Australia.”

The Culture Counts report combined ticketing data with wider expenditure analysis and a survey of more than 4000 people.

The 2019 Perth Festival will run from 8th February to 3rd March with the full program will be launched in November.

Click here to download the report.

Images: Perth Fesitval 2018 highlights – You Know We Belong Together (top, courtesy of Toni Wilkinson) White Spirit (middle, courtesy of Toni Wilkinson) and Neil and Liam Finn (below, courtesy of Matsu Photograph).

14th March 2018 – 450,000 PEOPLE SHARE EXPERIENCES AT 2018 PERTH FESTIVAL

17th December 2017 – AUSTRALIAN MAJOR PERFORMING ARTS GROUP CONDEMNS HARASSMENT AND BULLYING 

1st December 2017 – LIVE PERFORMANCE AUSTRALIA PRESENT 2017 CENTENARY AWARDS 

13th November 2017 – AUSTRALIA COUNCIL RESEARCH REVEALS DECLINE IN ARTIST’S INCOMES 

3rd November 2017 – AUSTRALIA’S STATE THEATRE COMPANIES CONDEMN SEXUAL HARASSMENT 

5th October 2017 – LIVE PERFORMANCE INDUSTRY GENERATES $1.43 BILLION REVENUE AND 18.78 MILLION ATTENDANCES

7th August 2017 – FRINGE WORLD REPORT SHOWS IMPORTANCE OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S CULTURAL INDUSTRIES 

18th October 2016 – RESEARCH REVEALS ALARMING FINDINGS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH OF AUSTRALIAN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY WORKERS 

3rd February 2016 – PERTH FRINGE PERFORMERS SUFFER ABUSE, THREATS AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT

28th July 2015 – PERTH INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL HONOURED WITH NINE HELPMANN AWARDS

19th July 2015 – PERTH’S FRINGE WORLD DELIVERS OVER $70 MILLION IN ECONOMIC IMPACT 

29th August 2013 – PERTH NEEDS MASSIVE INCREASE IN PERFORMING ARTS VENUES TO MEET AUDIENCE DEMAND 


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