Adelaide Fringe 2021 results bring hope to battling artists

Earlier this week, the Adelaide Fringe released its official facts and figures pertaining to this year’s festival held between 19 February and 21 March. Not even a global pandemic could get in the way of this much-needed celebration of arts and culture, and South Australians are among the many beneficiaries from this event.

INMA | image credit – Jordan Gollan

As one of the largest open access festivals in the world, the Adelaide Fringe 2021 delivered $56.39 million in gross economic impact to the South Australian economy and  generated $31.6 million in new net expenditure to the state during the 2021 festival.  

South Australia became a tourist magnet as the box office figures revealed $16.4 million from 632,667 tickets sold. Of those, 73,710 tickets were sold to  26,649 tourists visiting South Australia, resulting in 85,337 visitor bed nights. The number interstate visitors highlights the cultural significance of the Adelaide Fringe Festival despite these challenging times.  

There were added challenges including capacity restrictions, and international and domestic border closures, nevertheless  Adelaide Fringe’s Director and CEO Heather Croall worked  collaboratively with artists and venues to achieve impressive outcomes.

“To deliver the only festival of this scale in the world in such an unpredictable climate was incredible. On average  we sold 20,000 tickets each day, and including free activities, we saw an average of more than 80,000 people out  each night for the 31 nights.”

– Heather croall, adelaide fringe director and ceo
Rundle Mall Box Office | image credit – Topbunk

Croall’s festival delivered more than a positive economic impact in that it provided a strong cultural and social  impact to artists, audiences and the wider South Australian community.  Audiences were hungry for the chance to connect with one another and with art and culture after a tumultuous year, with many participants noting that the festival had a positive impact on their mental health and social connectivity.

As the recipient of a RISE ( Restart Investment to Sustain  and Expand) Fund from the Australian Government, the Adelaide Fringe has made the most of this financial support by delivering its most diverse and innovative year yet. First Nations themes, artists or creatives made up 9.7 per cent of the program, and 7 per cent of artists and creatives have had a lived experience of  disability. 

Furthermore, over $750,000 in grants was distributed by the Adelaide Fringe to artists and venues, with 29 per cent of  grants being distributed to First Nations recipients, and 33 per cent of grants were distributed to recipients from  culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Croall is now keen to prepare for Adelaide Fringe 2022 and encourages all artists to be part of it.  “There are so many artists who are already looking forward to next year and planning is already well underway,”  Croall said. 

The 2022 Adelaide Fringe will run from 18 February to 20 March. Visit:

Did you like this content? The Serenade Files invites you to leave a comment below