November 22, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Image: Darwin Fringe Festival

Adelaide’s month-long winter festival Illuminate Adelaide pumped over $44 million into the South Australian economy while in the Northern Territory, a raft of community and public events throughout the region has injected $39.8 million into the local economy.

Winter festival drives record month for Adelaide

Illuminate Adelaide, which ran over the full month of July bolstered the city and the state’s wider economy to the tune of $44.8 million, helping to deliver the best spending result for July on record.

Spending during the nighttime festival – between 6pm and 6am – was also higher than during Adelaide’s traditional “Mad March” of cultural festivals earlier in 2022.

During the event, 9,863 visitors from interstate or overseas attended ticketed events that were part of the festival. Figures released by the Adelaide Economic Development Agency also show 19,594 visitor night were generated and that events in regional locations were attended by more than 50,000 people.

Of those who travelled to South Australia, 75 per cent said they came specifically to attend Illuminate Adelaide.

“Illuminate Adelaide has grown so strongly that it is now driving significant social and economic activity not just in the CBD and North Adelaide but also in our regions,” said South Australia’s tourism minister Zoe Bettison

“The event has helped bring our city to life during the traditionally quieter winter months, encouraging people off their couches and into the city, spending in record amounts and celebrating the immersive magic of the installations.”

Cofounders and creative directors of the festival, Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge, hailed the collaboration that brought the event to life.

“Working with artists and innovators, the CBD businesses and the state government through the South Australian Tourism Commission to bring this event to life has been fantastic – a truly successful city-wide collaboration. We can’t wait to bring the event back to the city’s parks, venues, lane ways and precincts in 2023.”

Acting CEO for the City of Adelaide Ilia Houridis paid homage to the value of events to the city.

“The role major events such as Illuminate Adelaide play in supporting the city’s night-time economy should never be underestimated, so it was particularly pleasing to learn spending levels between 6pm – 6am were consistent with the busy summer festival period.”

Collection of events provide major cash injection in Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory, independent research on 22 events supported by the Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) throughout the year has established their collective economic impact at $39.8 million.

The events, including the Darwin Fringe Festival, Katherine Ultra, Alice Springs Beanie Festival and Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta, had 99,882 attendances and generated over 110,000 room visitor nights. Over 14,000 attendees said the event motivated their travel.

“Many key factors contribute to strong tourism numbers, one being a vibrant events calendar. We pride ourselves on making the Territory a must-do events destination, especially when our world-class events are combined with unique tourism offerings,” said NTMEC Head of Events and Operations Coryn Huddy.

“Aside from the significant economic benefits, events are integral to the vibrant lifestyle that locals love and visitors come here to experience,” he said.

NTMEC is a Northern Territory government agency. Applications for the next round of funding for public events throughout the Territory will open in early in 2023 and be administered by the agency.