The overwhelming success of the Scenic Rim region’s inaugural boutique music festival was applauded at last week’s Ordinary Meeting of Council.
Co-presented by the Queensland Music Festival (QMF) together with Scenic Rim Regional Council on 20 April 2022, The Long Sunset music and camping event attracted more than 5,000 people to the Aquis Elysian Fields at Boyland outside Canungra.
Independent economic analysis by the AEC Group found that the event generated total visitor expenditure of $1.16 million and $4.82 million in business output with an additional $862,000 in estimated public relations value generated through reaching an audience of more than 5.2 million people.
The event cost a little more than $924,000 to deliver and earned revenue of just over $767,000.
Council and QMF shared the cost of staging the event, with Council’s contribution largely made possible through a total of $200,000 in grant funding from the Australian Government – $145,000 from the Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Program and $55,000 from the Drought Communities Programme Extension.
Aside from the grant funds secured, Council contributed $57,861 from its 2021-2022 Operational budget, which was its share of the difference between revenue and expenditure, less the revenue it netted from camping site sales.
This contribution was higher than originally anticipated, due to several postponements of the event necessitating refreshed marketing campaigns to drive ticket sales; as well as increased costs for event infrastructure hire and services, due to labour shortages and increased fuel costs.
Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said the success of the 2022 The Long Sunset had set the stage for the event to be held again in 2023.
“Council has secured grant funding of $200,000 for the 2023 event from the Australian Government’s Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Program, and we are grateful for the generous support which will go a long way towards making next year’s event a success, he said.
QMF’s evaluation of The Long Sunset showed that almost 90 per cent of festival attendees had travelled to the Scenic Rim specifically for the event.
Audience satisfaction was rated at 98 per cent, with one festival goer commenting that it was the best music event he had attended in 16 years.
In addition to the positive community sentiment, The Long Sunset provided flow-on effects to local businesses and the tourism sector through the booking of more than 3,800 overnight stays, the support of 19.24 full-time jobs and the payment of $1.53 million in wages and salaries to households.
Some $4.82 million was generated across the tourism industry, with 39 business contracted through Queensland and seven within the Scenic Rim, where artists and creatives enjoyed direct economic benefits from the success of The Long Sunset.
With $1.16 million injected into the local economy, it’s a testament to the success of the event in its inaugural year, in spite of the operational challenges and the difficulty in delivering a major new event during a pandemic,” Mayor Christensen said.
“The event clearly delivered on all of its key social, cultural and economic goals and has further enhanced our region’s reputation as a leading destination for unique and compelling visitor experiences.
“My thanks to the local community and music lovers from across Queensland for supporting The Long Sunset and we look forward to welcoming you back to this event in 2023.”