Sydney Fringe Festival Economic Impact 2023

Sydney Fringe Festival Economic Impact 2023

The Sydney Fringe Festival Economic Impact 2023 highlights the festival’s resilience in the face of economic challenges. Each year the Sydney Fringe Festival Economic Impact is measured through surveys and an economic impact assessment. This report also discusses the benefits and value of the Artists and assesses their economic impact. In addition, the report also looks at the non-use benefits of the Festival including Option, Bequest and Existence value. The 2023 report presented:

  • Estimates of total (gross) and created (net) expenditure in Sydney supported by the
    Sydney Fringe Festival for 2023 (consistent with the analysis performed for 2022, 2019 and
    previous years).
  • Estimates the total Artist impacts for the Sydney Fringe Festival for 2023
  • Outlines the potential social benefits supported by the Sydney Fringe Festival outside of
    direct expenditure and tourism benefits.
  • Reviews the Option, Bequest and Existence value of the Sydney Fringe Festival for
Sydney Fringe Festival Economic Impact 2023

The Festival

The Sydney Fringe Festival is the largest independent arts festival in New South Wales with over 450 events presented in over 84 venues across Greater Sydney each year. Each September culture creators from all over the city join forces with the Festival to share Sydney’s stories presenting new work from all genres. Outside of festival time the organisation activates unused space creating new cultural infrastructure and precincts.

The Sydney Fringe is an open access arts festival, the largest independent arts festival in NSW. Open Access means that anyone can put on a show as part of the festival in September. There is no selection process and the main festival program is not programmed or curated.

Key benefits of the Festival

The key benefits of the Festival are as follows:


The Sydney Fringe is a great platform to try out new or experimental work or work in development. Audiences are open and willing for something a little different and Artists use the fringe as an opportunity to develop, test and explore work.


The Sydney Fringe is constantly attracting new artists from a variety of backgrounds, mediums and skills. The Sydney Fringe is consistently making new connections with artists and industry professionals.


The Fringe is genre fluid and a platform for all artforms. Artists work with a variety of genres as well as gain access to artists and audiences from the full spectrum of artforms and mediums. The Fringe also supports specific genres and their needs by creating hubs around specific genres and types of experiences.


The Sydney Fringe works to remove as many barriers to getting art out there as widely as possible. They are open access, which means the Festival is not curated, so if an Artist can put on a show, the Fringe will put it in the program.


The Sydney Fringe, once a small humble festival in the Inner West of Sydney now spans 23 postcodes across Sydney’s North, East, South and West. This provides greater access to a variety of venues as well as an ever increasing audience.


The Fringe has an audience of tens of thousands of Sydney siders that visit every year looking for new work and new experiences. This gives Artists the opportunity to put their art in front of a whole new audience from all over Sydney.


The Fringe works all year round to find and activate new, under-used and unused space throughout Sydney. This ensures Artists have access to anything from small cabaret rooms to giant empty warehouses – from the traditional to the site specific.


The Sydney Fringe Festival is growing and audiences know we’re here in September. In 2019 their campaign reached 39 million people, and almost 70,000 people attended events.


The Fringe provides the opportunity for Artists to set goals, push themselves with new deadlines, and get in front of local, interstate and international industry. Every year Fringe directors from around the world visit Sydney in September specifically to see shows in the Sydney fringe programme. The growing range of awards bring prestige as well as offering courses, supported touring opportunities, industry mentorships and cold hard cash.


The Fringe are committed to year-round advocacy work to grow and strengthen the culture and night life of our city. The incredible range of Artists that we work with and hear from allows us to advocate and invest in the cultural life of our vibrant home.

Economic Impact of the Sydney Fringe Festival

Comparative economic impact Economic modelling found that in 2023, based on a similar methodology to previous years, the Sydney Fringe Festival contributed a positive economic impact of $21,719,479.
Economic modelling in the report found that in 2023 dollars, the total economic impact of the Sydney Fringe Festival including Artist impacts and non-use benefits offered a positive economic impact of $34,387,848.

Sydney Fringe Festival Economic Impact 2023
Photo credit: David Li

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