Landing the World Premiere of musical An Officer and a Gentleman ranks Sydney alongside New York’s Broadway and London’s West End as the home of blockbuster musicals and shows – and local businesses are reaping the economic benefits.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said recent coups such as the World Premiere season of new musical ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ in 2012, ‘Strictly Ballroom’ in 2013 and the Australian premiere of ‘The Addams Family Musical’ in Sydney in March 2013 are boosting Sydney’s reputation overseas and providing a boost to the local economy.
The City of Sydney is working closely with Destination NSW to land stage sensations that are generating around $3 million per month in new money for the State or almost $20 million in direct economic impact over a 6 month run.
“Sydney has cemented its place on the cultural world stage with more first-run musical theatre than ever before. Our global city is reaping the creative and economic rewards, which are securing jobs in the inner city,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Musicals and events entice people to stay in our hotels, eat at restaurants, visit Sydney’s top attractions, shop and enjoy all our City has to offer during extended breaks.
“We know major musical theatre and fashion events contribute significantly to local businesses. Theatre-goers often have dinner before the show or have a drink afterwards and many tourists come from interstate or from overseas for the experience.”
Show producers report significant impacts on the local economy from their productions, with up to 40 per cent of tickets sold to tourists coming to Sydney.
“Major musicals like Jersey Boys and The Addams Family in March 2013 attract significant audiences from New Zealand, interstate and regional New South Wales, bringing additional economic benefits to the State,” Producer Rodney Rigby said.
“People throughout our region want reasons to visit Sydney and Jersey Boys has provided that incentive with 42 per cent of business coming from international, interstate and regional New South Wales audiences.”
Producer John Frost from the Gordon Frost Organisation said: “The benefits to the City in which productions are staged are enormous. People coming to the theatre don’t just come to see the show they come for an experience – this often translates into an afternoon of shopping, dinner before the show and perhaps even an overnight stay. And the people coming are not just local – in the case of WICKED one in three were visitors to the city.”
A long line of spectacular shows and events have recently boosted Sydney’s events calendar, proudly supported by the City of Sydney, these include:
- Mary Poppins Musical – with 8 shows a week. About 35 per cent of people attending the shows come from outside the Sydney area.
- Wicked – 550,000 tickets sold with more than 35 per cent of attendees coming from out of Sydney
- Jersey Boys – still playing at Sydney’s Theatre Royal since 18th September 2010 and recently celebrating its second anniversary in Australia in July.
- Dr Zhivago – more than 90,000 tickets sold with just over 20 per cent of attendees travelling from outside of Sydney.
- YouTube Symphony – involving 101 musicians from 33 countries, the event was streamed 33 million times around the world to 189 countries, including 2.8 million mobile live-streams making it one of the biggest ever streaming events to date, on mobile and desktop. That means the event was streamed to nearly one-and-a-half times the entire population of Australia.
- Vogue Fashion Night Out featured more than 450 retailers taking part in the world’s biggest shopping event along with 16 cities around the globe, including New York, Paris, London, and Milan. Local Sydney stores provided positive feedback, like the MLC Centre which reported: “We could not have been more pleased with the event. All stores involved recorded an increase in traffic and sales.”
- Sydney Festival: injected $50.2 million in direct and indirect expenditure into the NSW economy this year, with tens of thousands of visitors including 23,000 from interstate and overseas – visiting Sydney to wine, dine, shop and buy tickets to festival shows.
- The Sydney Fashion Festival is Sydney’s premier fashion and lifestyle event with fashion events showcasing the contemporary Collections of Australia’s leading designer brands and retailers as the collections land in store. The 2010 event featured 22 runway shows, more than 130 brands and over 50 free and ticketed events throughout Sydney. Over 10,000 peopleattended in 2010 and their feedback strongly verifies that the Festival builds brand awareness and encourages consumers to go shopping. The Sydney Fashion Festival takes place this year from 23 – 27 August.
- Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras – Australia’s second biggest event generating attracting 21,000 visitors each year and ploughing almost $30 million into the NSW economy in direct expenditure alone.
- Sydney Fringe Festival – involves over 3,000 artists in more than 250 works, with more than 100,000 people attending both ticketed and free events.
Tourism NSW figures show tourism and travel account for one in every 21 jobs in NSW (around 275,400 direct and indirect jobs) and those travellers spend about $96 a day in Sydney or $230 if they stay overnight.
“These shows are generating customers for the 1500 cafes and restaurants in the City which employ almost 19,000 workers and for Sydney’s booming small bar scene, with 40 new venues for people to socialise before or after a show,” the Lord Mayor said.
“These musicals and events enhance and develop new opportunities for the 120,000 creative industry workers across metropolitan Sydney – with about 29,000 across the inner city and surrounding suburbs – representing 7.4 per cent of our total workforce.”