March Spells Big Business For Aussie Festivals

WOMADelaide 19
– WOMADelaide 19
photo via Facebook

March has been a financial boon for five major Australian festivals, with new attendance records for some. 
WOMADelaide, the Adelaide version of the UK world music festival, drew a total 92,000 to Botanic Park March 8-11 according to organisers. It equaled 2018’s attendance breaker, with 45 percent of its audience coming from outside South Australia. It’s considered a significant tourism draw, with an annual economic impact estimated at A$15.1 million ($10.7 million).
The hard rock Download Australia drew 40,000 to two cities, with a star-studded bill headline by Slayer, and produced by Live Nation, UNIFIED and Secret Sounds Present. The UK-sourced event made its debut in Sydney and returned to Melbourne for a second time.
Despite fierce rain which saw tents wiped away in the camping area, Chugg Entertainment & Rob Potts Entertainment Edge’s CMC Rocks Queensland country & roots event hit its 21,000-capacity for a second year. The bill included Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett and Luke Combs, and Aussie drawcards Kasey Chambers and Troy Cassar-Daley.
Adelaide Fringe smashed its box office record with 825,000 stubs, a 17 percent increase on last year. In 2020, for its 60th anniversary, it will host the Fringe World Congress, for which directors and delegates from more than 100 Fringe-style arts festivals around the world will attend. Adelaide Festival (March 1-17) exceeded last year’s box office by 31 percent, reaching A$5.98 million ($4.23 million) selling 72,000.