Non-for-profit registered charity, ARTRAGE, has revealed the 2021/2022 Impact Report, which provides cultural, social, and economic insights from the arts organisation across all projects from June 2021 – March 2022. Including major projects; Rooftop Movies, Girls School, and FRINGE WORLD Festival which together boasts a multiplied economic impact of $95.8 million for the state.
ARTRAGE CEO Sharon Burgess notes; “It’s a very reflective process in putting the report together. We are reminded of our hopes prior to the Festival and the heartache of the border closures and increased restrictions. Despite it all though, this report shows the incredible resilience of our artists and team. I am left immensely proud of what the organisation has achieved in the last 12 months and am excited for what is to come.”
Although the Festival was affected by the pandemic, FRINGE WORLD 2022 still attracted an impressive 415,899 attendance at free and ticketed events of which 233,065 was ticketed. Over $6.6 million was spent at the Box Office, $5 million of which was paid out to FRINGE WORLD artists and venues.
The ARTRAGE cinemas also saw considerable growth in the 2021-22 period. The inner-city and open-air cinema, Rooftop Movies, saw increases across the board with average attendance at an impressive 83% (from 79% in the 2020-21 season) and a 61% sold out season (up from 43%). Girls School returned for a fourth and final season, with an expanded program boasting new experiences at the venue including workshops, live performances, interactive experiences, art exhibitions and immersive cinema experiences. The innovative program resulted in 169 sold out events, a total attendance of over 15,000 and a massive $500,000 spent at the Box Office.
The organisation presented two major special projects at Girls School in the past twelve months, Briefs’ Dirty Laundry, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show Immersive Halloween Spectacular, which attracted 93% and 83% sold out attendances, respectively.
“The increased activity at Girls School was a major achievement for us” says Burgess. “Commissioning new work and exploring more year-round activities was something we set out to do this time last year as a long-term goal for the organisation. These events, alongside the expansion in our team to form a Projects Department, were a huge leap towards that.”
The projects at Girls School were not the only new initiatives for ARTRAGE in the past 12 months. Alongside figures from the organisation’s key projects, the report also reflects several additions and improvements of the Festival and organisation alike.
FRINGE Sunday Funday debuted as a new large-scale community event supported by Lotterywest. The massive event featured free performances from over 32 FRINGE WORLD shows, family friendly activities and saw William Street lined with 3,000 sqm of bright pink AstroTurf. The activation attracted over 14,000 people and generated an organic social media reach of over 600,000.
The year also saw the introduction of the Keep On Fringing grant to provide direct support to artists who experienced unforeseen hardship, a successful month-long pilot of a four- day working-week aimed at increasing the work/life balance of ARTRAGE staff, and the building of a ticketing ‘Gifting Tool’ which allowed customers to ‘gift’ the value of their tickets to artist when an event was cancelled due to COVID-19.
An economic analysis by Culture Counts assessed that the Festival’s total visitor expenditure was $1.8 million. Considering 2021 being a predominantly local Festival due to border restrictions, this is an impressive result for the WA dominant artist line-up making up 85% of the 455 events on offer. The report also states that for every $1 invested by the WA state government into FRINGE WORLD, $23 was stimulated and spent in the local economy with 248 FTE jobs being created through this activity.
Key results from the Impact Report:
- Total direct economic impact of ARTRAGE projects over the past 12 months was $33,618,242 with a multiplied economic impact of $95,867,428.
- FRINGE WORLD Festival 2022 featured 455 events, 122 venues, 2,120 artists, 415,899 attendances at free and ticketed events and $6.6 million spent at the box office.
- The Festival has untapped audience growth potential with 41% of accounts on the FRINGE WORLD website coming from new customers, 98% of audiences planning to attend FRINGE WORLD again in 2023.
- Ticket purchasers come from every residential postcode in the Perth metropolitan area.
- Over $5 million was paid to FRINGE WORLD artists and venues. 85% of artists were from WA and 75% of artist cited their main reason for participating was to expose their performances and projects to new audiences.
- The new Gifting Tool allowed customers to gift just under $10,000 to artists who had to cancel their session or event due to COVID-19.
- 100% of businesses think that having FRINGE WOLRD in the City of Perth is good for the City, 75% of audiences ate at a restaurant before/after attending an event and 70% had a drink at a bar/nightclub/café.
Read the full Impact Report below.
Cover image: Hold Close. Photo by Jason Matz