Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Brisbane Festival breaks records

Brisbane Festival wound up on Saturday night after 22 days.  

There were 540 performances, 60 productions, around 20 venues, five world premiere commissions, 11 Australian premieres, and more than 1,400 artists from here and around the world, including those from 28 Queensland arts companies. Those artists, through their skill and insight, shared wonderfully different ways of living in and looking at the world.

We broke lots of records: the biggest box office ever, the biggest crowds at our hub at Treasury Brisbane Arcadia (mostly enjoying free shows), our largest ever Theatre Republic, the most number of performances.

At Treasury Brisbane Arcadia alone, around 300,000 people engaged with the Festival – that’s an average of 15,000 people for every day it was open. Amazing.

Saturday night's massive festival finale was Sunsuper Riverfire, Australia's longest fireworks display, drawing around 500,000 people to the edges of the winding Brisbane River and a great many more to the live television broadcast on Channel Nine. It's Brisbane's biggest annual public event. 

But there are many ways of measuring success. The biggest doesn’t always mean the best. I could share many stories of success that have nothing to do with the sale of a ticket.

Here’s one I like. This year, we had around 320 volunteers. In events like ours, if you fill 70% of the shifts you’re doing very well. Volunteers can lose interest over time, and work and study can get in the way.

This year, we filled 98% of our shifts. Our volunteers believed so much in the ethos and offerings of the Festival that they maintained their enormous commitment right to the end.

That belief, that commitment, was evident among many, not least the audience. And for that, I am grateful. 

No comments:

Post a Comment