Melbourne’s packed schedule of major events, as well as regional concerts and events, have helped to bring a major boost to the state of Victoria in Australia.
Most recently, the 2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival was on track to be the biggest version ever, with ticket sales predicted to pass the previous box office of A$19.7m (£10.6m/€12m/$13m) which was set in 2019.
Further Melbourne flagship cultural events have helped to bring economic impact to Victoria, with last October’s return of the Melbourne Fringe Festival generating A$22.9m for the state. Attendees also brought a boost to local amenities such as restaurants, bars, retailers and hotels.
Event are also helping to drive the state’s sustained economic recovery with Victoria’s visitor economy worth A$31.5bn, which is back to 97% of pre-pandemic levels.
Blockbuster events include the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which helped to pump more than A$210m into the Victoria economy and created almost 1,000 jobs. The cricket tournament was held at stadia across Australia. A study showed that more than 327,000 Victorians, interstate and international visitors attended 13 matches in Geelong and Melbourne, which also resulted in the booking of 226,000 hotel rooms in October and November.
The most recent Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix also set a new crowd record of over 444,000 earlier this month, and an economic impact study conducted by consultants EY on the 2022 event found that the GP had an economic impact of A$171m and generated more than 730 jobs.
Last year’s Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV The Picasso Century generated A$91m for the state.
Regional events also delivered financially including Kings of Leon playing in Mildura, the Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition in Bendigo, the Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
The Australia Centre for Moving Image (ACMI) is also hosting the world premiere exhibition Goddess: Power Glamour, Rebellion and Melbourne’s theatres are hosting global productions such as ‘& Juliet’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’.
In the coming months, the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition Pierre Bonnard will open at the NGV, RISING will see artists take over the city, and the Australian women’s football team will take on France at Marvel Stadium during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
Minister for Creative Industries and Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Steve Dimopoulos, said: “These figures confirm Melbourne is Australia’s creative capital and the home of major events, driving business activity and supporting thousands of jobs.
“Investing in our festivals and big events attracts visitors in large numbers and our cafes, bars and hotels are buzzing.”