Victorian Music Festivals:

Projects for a New Way

Value of Festivals

Live attendance at arts events was thriving prior to COVID-19. The power of arts and creativity to connect us, and Australians’ strong and growing engagement with arts events, experiences and festivals, highlight the critical role for the arts in reinvigorating tourism, our economy and our wellbeing, and in creating our future for generations to come[1].

Facts relating to Australian Audiences of Arts and Cultural Activities including Festivals

  • Australians are keen consumers of arts and culture; Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that almost all of us (82.4%) are attending cultural venues and events, and households are spending more than $25 billion a year on cultural goods and services[2].

  • The findings highlight that middle Australians are passionate about the role of arts and culture in their lives[3].

  • Middle Australians believe arts and culture help bring communities together, break down barriers between different groups within society and encourage greater communication. Participating often means opportunities to socialise with friends and family. Consequently, the most valued activities involved attending and participating in local activities, such as festivals, live performances and local libraries[4].

  • Festivals are a part of life for many Australians and were growing in popularity prior to COVID-19[5].

  • Australians attend a range of festivals including music festivals (23%), multi-art form festivals (18%), visual arts festivals or fairs (14%) and performing arts festivals (12%). One quarter of Australians attend festivals related to particular cultural groups or communities (24%), including First Nations festivals (19%)[6].

  • Participation in other cultural activities has also increased, including ... attending a fair or festival (13%, up from 3%)[7].

Economic Benefits of Music Festivals

  • Live music injects over $1.2 billion into the Australian economy annually, and the broader Australian entertainment sector is valued at $ 3 billion.[8]"

  • ...The Economic Cost of COVID-19 on Australia’s Live Entertainment Industry report quantify ... the total economic output of live entertainment in Australia, at an estimated $36.4 billion in total contribution in 2019[9].

  • Festivals provide substantial amenity and support various policy objectives including: Providing creative employment / Stimulating cultural tourism / Enhancing Victoria’s brand and reputation in other states and overseas / Providing year to year leverage of creative sector infrastructure (e.g. venues)[10]

  • Four in ten Australians would like to attend more arts events (42%). Prior to COVID-19, cost and location were the main barriers to increased attendance: cost of tickets or entry prevented one in three Australians from attending as many events as they would like (34%) and one in four said there were no arts events near where they live (25%)[11].

  • Cultural and creative industries are increasingly acknowledged as important components and drivers of growth in the modern, knowledge-based economy.[12]

  • Meeting of Cultural Ministers (MCM) report, Measuring the economic value of cultural and creative industries, was lead by the Victorian State Government through Creative Victoria to navigate the alternative approaches to defining the cultural and creative industries and quantifying their economic value.

  • Festivals have been identified as a key source of economic regeneration that leverage the cultural heritage of a region. Festivals and other regional arts events attract audiences, increase tourism, increase visits to other local attractions and provide a flow on effect for economic activity in local shops, restaurants, cafes and accommodation[13].

Social Benefit

  • Entertainment, social connection and wellbeing are the main drivers of arts attendance. Australians are motivated to attend the arts to have fun and to be entertained (63%), to socialise and connect with others (41%), to understand other perspectives and cultures (33%) and to improve their wellbeing (25%). One in eight Australians attend the arts to develop skills for education, training or work (13%)[14].

  • Festivals provide substantial amenity and support various policy objectives including: Facilitating wider public access to creative art forms / Supporting wider social goals (education, health, social cohesion) / Engaging more Victorians in cultural and creative endeavour / Providing distinctive, high profile public events[15]

Cultural Benefit

  • Festivals provide substantial amenity and support various policy objectives including:  Providing a vehicle for showcasing creative works from a fragmented base / Furthering the development of creative/artistic talent / Providing distinctive platforms for combining and curating old and new, small and large works, and different art-forms / Helping Victorian creative talent to connect with opportunities in other markets[16]

  • The arts provide an opportunity for regional areas to market their uniqueness and create a sense of place. Festivals allow marketing of a region to be a celebration of nature, local produce and industry and create images that may linger in the national imagination[17].

Civic Benefits

  • Festivals and arts events give regional communities an opportunity to communicate the vision and values of a place and help a regional community to form a strong and distinct shared identity[18].

 

With key resources including:

 

[1] Australia Council for the Arts / CREATING OUR FUTURE: RESULTS OF THE NATIONAL ARTS PARTICIPATION SURVEY/ p. 10

[2] A New Approach / Insight research series / Report Three / 2020 Executive Summary P.4

[3] A New Approach / Insight research series / Report Three / 2020 Executive Summary P.4

[4] A New Approach / Insight research series / Report Three / 2020 Executive Summary P.5

[5] Australia Council for the Arts / CREATING OUR FUTURE: RESULTS OF THE NATIONAL ARTS PARTICIPATION SURVEY/ p. 12

[6] Australia Council for the Arts / CREATING OUR FUTURE: RESULTS OF THE NATIONAL ARTS PARTICIPATION SURVEY/ p. 12

[7] March 2021 Audience Outlook Monitor / Patternmakers / p.7

[8] Australian Music Industry Statistical Snapshot,

[9] https://leif.net.au/2020/10/14/australias-live-entertainment-industry-counts-the-cost-of-covid-extended-support-needed/

[10] DEDJTR - Creative Victoria Victoria's Creative Industry Festivals Review - March 2018 / p.9

[11] Australia Council for the Arts / CREATING OUR FUTURE: RESULTS OF THE NATIONAL ARTS PARTICIPATION SURVEY/ p.13

[12] Measuring the economic value of cultural and creative industries - Statistics Working Group of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers Page 7 of 56

[13] Stats and Stories: The Impact of the Arts in Regional Australia Ruth Rentschler and Kerrie Bridson – Deakin University Jody Evans – Melbourne Business School/ p.6

[14] Australia Council for the Arts / CREATING OUR FUTURE: RESULTS OF THE NATIONAL ARTS PARTICIPATION SURVEY/ p.13

[15] DEDJTR - Creative Victoria Victoria's Creative Industry Festivals Review - March 2018 / p.9

[16] DEDJTR - Creative Victoria Victoria's Creative Industry Festivals Review - March 2018 / p.9

[17] Tonts, M 2000, ‘The restructuring of Australia’s rural communities’ in Land of discontent: The dynamics of change in rural and regional Australia, UNSW Press, Sydney, pp. 52-72

[18] Stats and Stories: The Impact of the Arts in Regional Australia Ruth Rentschler and Kerrie Bridson – Deakin University Jody Evans – Melbourne Business School/ p.4

Get in touch

For further information, please contact the Program Managers:
 

Anna Jacobs - [email protected]

Francesca Valmorbida - [email protected]

CreativeVictoriaLogo_rev_transBG_72dpi.t

This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.