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Perth Festival a big boost for WA Culture and Economy

POSTED

2 Jul 2021

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Written By Staff Writer

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The summer event season in Perth brings crowds from all over the country, who come to enjoy the great weather, the sweltering hot beaches and the multitude of festivals.

2021 was no different. Despite the large dip in events due to Covid-19, this year’s Perth Festival was one of the largest contributors to Perth’s thriving arts and culture scene and also helped grow WA’s economy.

With help from Principal Partner Lotterywest’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, even a pandemic could not stop the performances. This year’s Festival featured 111 events and, keeping it local, almost all the 1,041 participating artists were from WA. The Festival reportedly paid $11.28 million to local artists, workers, suppliers and contractors, and employing 238 individual staff, suppliers and organisers.

Focused on employing talent and staff from WA, Perth Festival also partnered with local organisations to offer dynamic opportunities to current and prospective arts sector workers. Altogether there were 966 participants in sector engagement programs, a 42% increase from 2020.

Despite being disrupted by a minor disturbance, namely a Covid-19 lockdown, the rescheduled program was a hit and saw an attendance of 473,616 eventgoers!

“We were very grateful to be able to present your 2021 Festival – one of the few to go ahead anywhere in the world over the past year.”, said Festival Executive Director Nathan Bennett in the Perth Festival 2021 Impact Report.

“Our role in stimulating our city’s social cohesion and economic activity seemed more critical than ever. The COVID-19 lockdown in our opening week brought this home when we urgently rescheduled the entire program to ensure the shows could go on. We only managed that massive undertaking thanks to the extraordinary help of our audiences, artists, companies and crew.”

This was the second Festival delivered and programmed by Artistic Director Iain Grandage, whose term has been extended by an extra year, enabling him to deliver a fifth and final annual program in 2024.

The economic impact on the WA economy from Perth Festival was monumental with direct spending from audiences, artists and the Festival altogether coming to $32 million, lifting the multiplied impact to a whopping $90.3 million, 7% more than in 2020.

The employment opportunities stemming from Perth Festival in 2021 was a beacon of hope for the arts, culture and events sector in WA. With Perth Festival confirmed to return in February next year, one can only hope that the 2022 Festival continues to bring more prospects for the talented suppliers, arts organisers, promoters and performers in WA.

Photo: Jessica Wyld / Projections at City of Lights, Perth Festival 2021

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