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Opening Weekend of Adelaide Fringe Festival Draws Surge in Foot-Traffic

Last updated 07 Mar, 2024

The City of Adelaide drew an impressive 1.5 million visitors as the opening weekend of the Adelaide Fringe Festival unfolded, coinciding with the tail end of the Lunar New Year celebrations. The Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA) has analysed data from Kepler Analytics to find out the dynamics of visitor engagement during the festival so far, highlighting the city's bustling areas and the overall impact on local businesses and the community.

Opening weekend foot-traffic

The City of Adelaide saw a 3% increase in visits compared to the same weekend last year. A closer look at the foot-traffic data reveals varied trends across different precincts of the city on the same weekend of 2023:

  • Gouger Street (11% increase) and East End (14% increase) experienced an uptick in visits, showcasing the diverse appeal of both the Fringe and Lunar New Year celebrations.
  • Rundle Mall held its status as a prime destination for festivalgoers with a 24% increase from the previous year. The precinct was a hive of activity, hosting Lunar New Year festivities alongside MallFest activations. Vibrancy was further amplified with extended Saturday trading hours which will continue for the length of the Fringe Festival program.
  • Hindley Street precinct saw a notable increase with foot-traffic rising by 9% compared to the same weekend last year and 2% from the average weekend, reflecting its growing popularity among night time revellers.
  • The O’Connell Street precinct, however, faced a downturn, reflecting the dynamic nature of visitor preferences and city navigation patterns.
  • Hutt Street saw a slight decrease, with visits down by 10% from the previous year and 9% from the average weekend.

Momentum builds during second weekend

The festival's magnetic pull didn't wane as it moved into its second weekend, managing to attract more than 1.5 million visitors yet again, indicating an enduring appeal that exceeded initial weekends, previous year's metrics, and even pre-COVID levels.

The overall city witnessed a 26% jump in visits, solidifying the Adelaide Fringe's position as a pivotal event in the city's calendar.

Foot-traffic data:

  • The Hindley Street precinct saw a 46% rise in foot-traffic compared to last year and a 12% increase over the average weekend, reflecting its allure for nightlife and entertainment seekers. On the same weekend, the music and arts festival, SidebySide also contributed to the impact with festivalgoers flowing out from Helen Mayo Park.
  • Rundle Mall continued to shine with a 51% increase in foot-traffic, highlighting its central role in the festival's social and shopping experiences.
  • East End remained steady with a consistent flow of visitors and no change from the same weekend last year but a 5% increase over the average weekend.
  • Gouger Street experienced a 34% decrease over the previous year.
  • The O’Connell Street precinct faced a decline, with visits down by 10% from the same weekend last year and 3% below the average weekend, indicating shifting visitor patterns or preferences.
  • Hutt Street's visitation was down by 13% compared to the same weekend last year. However, the Saturday 2 March Fringe Vibes on Hutt Street will put a spotlight on this area increasing vibrancy.

Stay informed and connected

Interested in staying updated with more insightful information? AEDA regularly publishes industry updates and economic reports. These resources are invaluable for understanding the city's economy, population, tourism, and property markets.

Disclaimer: Foot-traffic counts are measured through tools that do not explain complete visitation. The pedestrian count figures represent a sample of people and should be viewed as a best estimate. More people may have visited the area that were not counted by the limitations of the footfall tools and therefore the data is best used for trend analysis.