Illuminate Adelaide

Illuminate Adelaide announces record-breaking economic triumph

This year’s event, the third in its series, has set a new record in economic impact for South Australia’s visitor economy.

Illuminate Adelaide 2023 has lit up not just the city’s winter nights but also its economy, generating $54.3 million. This year’s event, the third in its series, has set a new record in economic impact for South Australia’s visitor economy.

The latest data reveals that the month-long festival, celebrating art, light, music, and technology, attracted more than 1.3 million attendances across its various events. This includes significant participation from over 15,000 interstate and international visitors, accounting for nearly 66,000 attendances.

A major highlight of the festival was the economic activity it spurred, generating close to 34,000 visitor nights and creating over 4,000 employment opportunities. This contribution reflects not only the festival’s growing popularity but also its significant role in driving economic and tourism activity during the traditionally quieter winter months.

The success of Illuminate Adelaide has not gone unnoticed on the global stage. Co-founder and creative director Rachael Azzopardi has been invited to the renowned Fête des Lumières in Lyon, a testament to the festival’s international recognition.

Additionally, Adelaide Botanic Gardens CEO Michael Harvey represented the event at the International Garden Tourism Conference in Canada, further cementing its global footprint.

The economic impact report by Professor Barry Burgan from Bond University presents impressive figures:

  • $54.3 million in economic activity for the South Australian economy.
  • 1.3 million attendances, including free and ticketed events.
  • 15,079 interstate and overseas visitors, contributing to 65,994 attendances.
  • 33,727 visitor nights generated.
  • 91% of attendees visited specifically for Illuminate Adelaide.
  • 4,176 employment opportunities created, equivalent to 348 full-time jobs.
  • 304 artists presented, with 68 new commissions from local and international talents.

In a show of resilience and community support, Illuminate Adelaide extended its reach beyond the city. The regional installation, River Lights, was held in flood-affected Mannum, drawing over 20,000 attendees. This extension, supported by the State Government and South Australian Tourism Commission, highlights the festival’s commitment to broader state recovery and tourism efforts.

Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said the record-breaking economic injection is a shining example of how Illuminate Adelaide continues to get bigger and better each year.

“More than $54 million in economic activity generated for South Australia and a fantastic boost to visitation in our CBD during the traditionally quieter winter months.”

“On top of the more than 15,000 out-of-state visitors attending Illuminate Adelaide in 2023, it’s clear our state’s major winter event is getting noticed on the world stage, as organisers are invited to spruik its success at major conferences and long-standing festivals across the northern hemisphere.”

“I was really encouraged by the number of people who got behind our state’s flood-affected region, getting to Mannum to enjoy River Lights and support local businesses who’d had it tough.”

“I look forward to seeing Illuminate Adelaide return in 2024, with another exciting celebration of art, light, music and technology.”

Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge, Co-Founders and Creative Directors of Illuminate Adelaide, said “To receive such a massive response from the public is incredible given it’s only Illuminate Adelaide’s third year.”

“Since our inception in 2021, we’ve strived to create an impact in South Australia throughout winter and draw people out of their homes and into the city’s streets and venues. To see the economic impact that this major event has on South Australia is thrilling, and we’re so proud to host an event for all people to enjoy, no matter which part of the world they come from.”

“We’re excited to reveal our 2024 program next year and are exceptionally grateful to our major partner, the State Government through the South Australian Tourism Commission for their commitment and support.”

“We can’t wait welcome back people from all walks of life to Adelaide’s streets.”

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