Adelaide Festival Centre announces a positive result for the 2007/2008 financial year having had a year of investment and structural change.
Adelaide Festival Centre embarked on a comprehensive revitalising and repositioning in late 2006. This year represents the second year of program outcomes since this new direction commenced. Aiming to significantly increase visitation the Adelaide Festival Centre has focussed on increasing the number of activities in its venues.
This year’s results indicate a strong increase in audiences. Attendances at ticketed events were 542,724 to 1,103 performances that were either presented or hosted by the Adelaide Festival Centre with a total attendance of 966,417, including non-ticketed exhibitions, functions and events. By comparison total visitation in 2005/2006 was 713,253 and for 2006/2007 it was 895,000, overall this represents a 35% increase in attendance over the last two years.
Total attendances to shows presented or co-presented by Adelaide Festival Centre itself was 193,091 - a 25% increase from 154,603 in 06/07.
The Festival Centre introduced two brand new festivals during the 07/08 financial year – the OzAsia Festival and the Adelaide International Guitar Festival, both of which attracted new audiences. These two marquee events, along with the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, in its eighth year, were a real point of difference for the Festival Centre, the city and the state and they will continue to attract national and international attention.
“Our approach requires a significant investment of time, effort and money to build audiences and arts product over the initial years of our revitalisation strategy. Our decision to program and bring Adelaide some of the world’s best music, theatre and dance is indeed paying dividends by attracting new audiences and existing audiences to engage with us more regularly,” says Douglas Gautier CEO & Artistic Director Adelaide Festival Centre.
Venue utilisation was up to 85% across all venues including Her Majesty’s Theatre compared to 73% in 2006/07. Attendances continue to build at the Adelaide Festival Centre and new audiences are engaging with the diverse programming available throughout the year.
Financially, the net trading result for last financial year was a surplus of $317,000.
The Trust’s commercial operations including venue sales, car parking and set construction workshops performed well. Overall Commercial operations made a net contribution of $3.97 million.
This year also brought with it two events of long-term significance for the Festival Centre: firstly, the forgiveness of the $28 million dollar deficit by the Government. A large portion of this debt had been carried on the books since the Festival Centre was opened in 1973.
Secondly, in a proposal put forward by the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust designed to complement this move, the Government announced a re-alignment of the Trust’s structure that allowed it to place more emphasis on managing the development, marketing and presentation of its artistic vision for the Festival Centre. This was achieved by transferring, within Government, the Trust's land and buildings together with responsibility for their long-term strategic management.
“We are thrilled the Adelaide Festival Centre is committed to bringing world-class performances to South Australian audiences on a regular basis. It is critical the Festival Centre takes a leadership role in our city and state’s aspiration to be a hub of arts excellence. It is integral in ensuring South Australia continues to be the Festival State hence our support of the Festival Centre’s investment in a year-long festival and three international festivals, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide International Guitar Festival and OzAsia festival which are all delivering great attendances,” says The Hon John Hill Minister Assisting the Premier in the Arts.