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Bluesfest 2022 Delivers $272 Million Boost To Economy

21 July 2022 | 4:38 pm | Brenton Harris

"It was tough, but we did it. We faced storms and floods to deliver Bluesfest’s greatest festival so far. The Vibe was magic!"

(Bluesfest )

Bluesfest 2022 has provided a $272 million boost to Australia's gross regional product.  The impressive figure is one of the key takeaways from the Economic Impact Report of the Byron Bay Bluesfest event that took place earlier this year.

Featuring the likes of Crowded House, Paul Kelly, Midnight Oil, Amy Shark, Baker Boy, The Living End and 100 more, it was the first full 5-day event for Bluesfest, usually held annually over the Easter Long Weekend, since 2019 and drew a crowd of over 48, 000 people, a near 30% increase on the 2019 festival figures.

“It was hard work - but the Bluesfest team, God bless them, pulled through. The music was brilliant and the vibe was electric!” said Peter Noble OAM, Festival Director of Bluesfest and Owner of the Bluesfest Group.

“It was tough, but we did it. We faced storms and floods to deliver Bluesfest’s greatest festival so far. The Vibe was magic! The performances were unforgettable! Every single artist performed – all 106 of them – even with some members out with covid. We had our highest number of individual ticket buyers ever. We came in as the world’s highest-grossing festival in Pollstar’s first six months of 2022 Box Office Score.  We created 1348 full-time jobs in the flood-ravaged Northern Rivers and caused $224.6 million to be spent in the region from people attending Bluesfest, separate from the spending on our site – what an amazing result."

After two years of cancellations due to Public Health Orders – including a forced closure by the NSW State Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard less than 24 hours before gates were due to open in 2021 – today, we see the efforts to persevere and bring the festival back to the Northern Rivers be paid off - at a local, state and national economic level.


A summary of the Economic Impact Report shows that the direct and total economic impacts associated with Bluesfest 2022 include:

  • Total output of $142.2 million in Byron Shire, $254.0 million in the Northern Rivers, $416.5 million in New South Wales and $459.2 million in Australia.

  • Estimated total income (wages and salaries) of $25.6 million in Byron Shire, $57.2 million in the Northern Rivers, $97.8 million in New South Wales and $108.8 million in Australia.

  • Approximately 641.8 full-time equivalent (FTE) employment positions in Byron Shire, 1,348.5 FTE’s in the Northern Rivers, 2,002.3 FTE’s in new South Wales and 2,149.4 FTE’s in Australia.

  • An estimated contribution to GRP of $70.2 million in Byron Shire, $143.9 million in the Northern Rivers, $232.3 million in New South Wales and $272.3 million in Australia.

The release of the Bluesfest Economic Impact Report comes hot on the heels of another triumph for the returning festival. Only a few weeks ago, Pollstar, the international bible of the live music industry, released its mid-year report based on global ticket sales, and Bluesfest was listed as the highest-grossing Australian event for the first six months of 2022. Bluesfest 2022 was also named by Pollstar as the '#9 Worldwide Event in Box Office Sales', placing two spots above the Rolling Stones and ten places above the Paul McCartney tour.