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Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Bluesfest attendance up 10 per cent as employment hits new record

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Attendance at Byron Bluesfest increased by nearly 10 per cent or 13,000 people in 2019, organisers say.

And it contributed to a significant increase in the festival’s financial contribution to the region, including a new record for the number of people employed.

The figures come from a new report by Lawrence Consulting, which explored the impact of spending in the Byron Shire, the Northern Rivers region, New South Wales and the country more broadly.

It found that $18.4m was spent on putting the 2019 festival, including an 18.7 per cent increase in salaries from the previous year, and a record number of people hired.

‘I’m thrilled to think that from its’ humble beginnings as the East Coast Blues Festival in 1990 at the Arts Factory, popularly called the Piggery due to it being an old pig slaughterhouse, that Bluesfest is now such a critical contributor to the local economy in the tropical surrounds of Byron Bay,’ Festival Director Peter Noble said.

‘Over the 30 years of its existence, Bluesfest has become a pinnacle event in the calendar of Australians and music fans overseas.’

The average daily spend by festival patrons increased 18.7 per cent to $304 since 2018 – a figure which includes their spending on food and accommodation.

This equated to a total of $35.5 million spent in the Byron Shire.

A total of 1,454.6 people were hired across NSW – a record for the Bluesfest Group.


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Bluesfest is a victim of its own success. My girlfriend and I have attended every year for most of the years that the Bluesfest has been running. That’s a lot of Bluesfest experience.
    This year we were searching for the Blues- hard to find. On our usual 5 day ticket, we found very little blues in 2019. Very sad for us. (That’s a Blues Song right there!)
    For the first time, we are not buying Earlybird tickets and instead will wait to see if there are any Blues artists in 2020 at the Bluesfest…..

  2. And the on site and off site paid parking ingenuity – the same one has that has scores of locals refusing to attend ever again – I imagine that was factored into this creative accounting data yes?

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