Victoria’s creative industry festivals review

Festivals Audiences Cultural policy Regional planning Arts venues Creative economy Victoria

An action of the Creative State strategy, the Victorian Creative Industries Festivals Review looked at the strengths of the state’s festivals, the issues they face and ways to maintain a high-quality, diverse and accessible program that meets contemporary and future needs. Creative Victoria commissioned independent consultants LEK to undertake the review with input from more than 350 Victorian festival directors and presenters.

Key findings

  • Victoria is home to over 430 creative festivals – 57% in Melbourne and 43% in regional Victoria.
  • Each year Victorian festivals collectively attract approximately nine million people, around 35% of attendees are tourists (intrastate, interstate and international).
  • Victorian festivals provide employ 12,000 people, engage 31,000 volunteers and provide opportunities for 80,000 creative practitioners.
  • Half of Victoria’s festivals started in the last ten years.

The review identified a number of challenges facing the festivals sector, including;

  • Victoria’s festival calendar is congested with a high concentration in the summer months. 20% of all festivals are held in March.
  • Currently, opportunities for networking and collaboration are ad hoc, limiting knowledge sharing, coordination and skill development.

Recommendations include

  • Investment in a consolidated festivals calendar
  • support for specialist marketing and audience development assistance for Victorian festivals.
  • support for a body or platform to connect festivals and foster collaboration.
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