Bluesfest Byron Bay have issued an economic loss report detailing the extent of the damages from this year's cancelled festival, revealing a loss of $116.9M gross revenue for the Byron region and a greater $203.6M for New South Wales as a whole.
Released to the media today, the Bluesfest commissioned report also found that as a result of the festival's cancellation, the community also lost 745 full time equivalent jobs, with the numbers of losses from the broader State of NSW bumping that figure up even further to 1,158.
In 2019, Bluesfest generated 1,333 full time jobs in NSW and 858 for the Northern Rivers / Byron Bay region, with this year's event only creating a grand total of 68.8 jobs due to the the festival being forced to cancel only three weeks ahead of schedule.
Bluesfest director Peter Noble OAM commented on the report today, describing the job losses as a 'tragedy' and concluding that "The economic impact reports [EIR] we have commissioned clearly demonstrate that because of the COVID-19 pandemic our community is not only culturally poorer but also financially poorer."
Noble also discussed the need for industry transparency in the post-COVID downturn, saying that "By presenting these EIR reports we are also demonstrating the impact that just one event of this scale in the live music industry can have on the economy of the country.
"The entertainment industry is worth $111 billion in Australia. We promote the arts; we bring jobs and the trickle-down effect means that people in the broader community have an income they wouldn’t otherwise have.
"Bluesfest is 100% independent and we are proud to contribute to our State and Local communities and we look forward to doing it again in 2021.”