Melbourne (pictured) is set to receive a A$25m (£14m/$17m/€17m) boost from the City of Melbourne council to invest in events and attract visitors.

The draft Budget 2022-23 is due to be released tomorrow (Tuesday), which will include a major event and festival program to encourage people to visit the Australian city, support local businesses and provide confidence after a turbulent couple of years.

Firelight Festival is set to return to the city following a two-year hiatus in July, with 2019’s festival attracting over 75,000 people over three days, and pumping $4m into the local economy.

Looking forward to the festive season, and Melbourne’s Christmas Festival – which was a roaring success in 2021, drawing in 1.6 million people – received just over $6.4m. New Year’s Eve celebrations will receive a $3.9m investment.

Moomba Festival, Melbourne Fashion Week, Melbourne Knowledge Week and Melbourne Music Week will feature on the city’s events calendar, and will receive a $11m boost.

The City of Melbourne is also set to support more than 60 other events with a further $2.6m. The Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund, which is a joint $200m collaboration between the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government, will include additional funding for new events across Melbourne.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said: “We’re spending $25 million on events, festivals and activations to bring confidence to our city, enliven our streets and laneways, and cement Melbourne’s place as Australia’s cultural capital.

“We know events boost foot traffic and spending at city businesses. Our beloved Moomba Festival drew a record 1.44 million people to the city in March, while our expanded Christmas Festival generated $18 million in economic benefit.

“We’re on track to have our biggest-ever year of events, and this will ensure we can continue attracting huge crowds to the city to enjoy everything on offer – from food and fashion to music and culture.

“By investing in momentum, we’re showing traders, residents, tourists and investors that Melbourne’s future is looking better than ever.”

City Activation portfolio lead Councillor Roshena Campbell added: “There’s no doubt Melbourne is the events capital of Australia and that events are critical to the city’s economic recovery. Prior to the pandemic, they attracted almost 30 million visits to Greater Melbourne each year and gave the local economy a $52 million boost.

“Our retail, hospitality and other small businesses have told us the most important thing we can do to turbocharge their recovery is drive visitation. By investing in a record year of events, the City of Melbourne is responding to that call.”

Image: Simona Sergi on Unsplash