The West

Fringe makes big impact
Trixie and Monkey in the Spiegeltent at Fringe World 2014.

The Fringe World festival has established itself as an engine room of Perth's creative and economic life in just three years, a new report has found.

An impact study of the 2014 Fringe found it attracted more than 370,000 people over four weeks from January 24 and contributed $45 million to the economy.

Fringe World had grown rapidly to become the fourth biggest in the world in audience numbers and the fifth biggest in terms of program size, the report said.

Audiences spent an estimated $26.9 million on events, including in restaurants, bars and accommodation. The flow-on effect on the Perth economy was more than $44.8 million.

Fringe World venues were clustered in Northbridge, with other hubs in the CBD, Maylands and Midland.

A survey of local businesses found that 73 per cent reported higher levels of trading and greater diversity of clientele.

Total market engagement grew more than 40 per cent from last year. There was a wide spread of age groups, like last year, but growth among audiences aged 42-53 was offset by decreases in those aged 24-35.

Nearly 16 per cent of audience members attended with a child, reflecting the appeal of family shows in the program.

There was overwhelming audience feedback that Fringe World had showcased Perth's vibrancy.

The study was done by festival producer Artrage using research tools developed by Edinburgh Fringe analysts BOP.

Fringe World 2015 will run from January 23 to February 22.

The West Australian

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