BYRON BAY’S 25,000-capacity Bluesfest brought more than A$83 million (US$57m) to the New South Wales economy this year, a new report reveals.
The economic impact study, commissioned by the event’s owner Bluesfest Group, has found that spending by the organisers alone in the Byron Shire area was approximately A$2.6m (US$1.7m), up 38 per cent on the previous year.
Festival-goers added another A$35.5m (US$24.3m) to the Byron Shire figure and A$59.1 (US$40.5) to the Northern Rivers economy.
This year’s 30th anniversary edition also saw an increase of 9.2 per cent on the attendees compared to last year.
“I’m thrilled to think that from its humble beginnings, Bluesfest is now such a critical contributor to the local economy in the tropical surrounds of Byron Bay” says festival director Peter Noble. “Over the 30 years of its existence, Bluesfest has become a pinnacle event in the calendar of Australians and music fans overseas.”
The festival was launched in 1990 as the one-day East Coast Blues Festival and now runs for five days every Easter.
The next event is set for 9–13 April and will feature Dave Matthews, Crowded House and Patti Smith.