The Fringe may have hit record ticket sales during Mad March, but have you met its sibling – Amazing April?
Festivals have long been ingrained in the culture of South Australia. It is known as the festival state, after all. Following a record-breaking Mad March, Adelaide has earned its place in the spotlight as the city to be.
WOMADelaide saw unprecedented ticket sales. The Adelaide Fringe broke records with more than one million tickets sold, and the Adelaide Festival smashed its box office targets. According to the South Australian Tourism Commission, the March long weekend brought an estimated $128 million in state visitor spend. And that’s just the beginning.
Amazing April started to hit lofty heights before the month had even begun, with early reports showing accommodation occupancy reaching more than 90% for the weekend of the AFL Gather Round, held 13-16 April.
Meanwhile, LIV Golf, which is making its Australian debut in Adelaide, was a surprise sell-out. Forty per cent of the tickets purchased have come from interstate or overseas. So, is it time to break the ‘Mad March is the best time to visit Adelaide’ stereotype and give the home of the Croweaters appropriate dues?
What’s AFL Gather Round and LIV Golf?
The two major sporting events being held this month are contributing to the state’s economic recovery as sports fans are filling up Adelaide’s hotels.
Forward booking data for both events showcase the economic impact of bringing major events to the state, with the Gather Round weekend setting a record high for the city. Forward bookings show Adelaide accommodation occupancy on the Friday and Saturday of the AFL Gather Round at 91% and 92% respectively.
Latest data released this week shows the weekend of AFL Gather Round is now the highest ever room nights occupied, overtaking the weekend of WOMADelaide 2023.
According to Shaun Parsons, the General Manager of Adelaide’s Crowne Plaza, the hotel has portions of April at complete tenancy, and the overall monthly occupancy figure is expected to be in the mid to high 90s.
Gather Round is the first AFL round of its kind, with all 18 clubs making their way to SA to play in nine matches spanning April 13-16, all of which are now sold out.
South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive officer Emma Terry said the level of excitement was building for April’s string of events.
“We’re seeing an incredible response to these events, and there is certainly a real buzz about Gather Round with more than 50,000 visitors from interstate heading our way to support their teams,” she said.
“Major events inject around $400 million into the state’s economy, drive jobs and absolutely highlight our world-class reputation for putting on a great show.”
LIV Golf is an international league helping to bring new audiences to the game of golf by tweaking the format. LIV Golf runs shorter tournaments and uses shotgun starts, which means players tee off at the same time from different holes on the course, to keep it fast paced.
Much like Gather Round, LIV Golf is on track to attract a massive crowd with forward bookings showing Adelaide accommodation on the Friday and Saturday of LIV Golf Adelaide at 67 per cent and 65 % respectively.
LIV Golf tees off its Australian debut at the Grange Golf Club from April 21-23 featuring interactive fan experiences, golf parties and a headline concert by Australian DJ FISHER.
Sure, March and April look great, but what about the rest of the year?
If two record-breaking months aren’t enough, then let’s take a look at what else is happening in Adelaide for the rest of the year.
Just a few days after LIV Golf tallies the score, Tasting Australia gets cooking, putting Adelaide’s food and drink scene back on the map for a mouth-watering week from 28 April to 7 May.
The arts take centre stage for another two show-stopping weeks from 9 June for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, before the city lights up for Illuminate Adelaide, which will run throughout July.
The action continues with Adelaide Equestrian Festival, Ampol State of Origin 2023, five games of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand, VALO Adelaide 500 featuring Robbie Williams, OzAsia, SALA, Tarnanthi Festival, DreamBIG Children’s Festival, Cellar Door Fest, and a range of regional events throughout the state.
Looking beyond the bright allure of our festivals, why not stay a while? Interstate visitors are encouraged to take the leap in the state governments ‘New State of Mind’ campaign, with resources to explore the SA lifestyle and discover career opportunities here.
So, for anyone asking, ‘why would you want to go to South Australia?’, we can safely say because it’s where the party’s at.