AV Festival 10 brought visitors flocking into the region, providing a significant boost to the local economy - according to a new report.
AV10 - the third biennial festival of electronic art, music and film - was staged in March this year in Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough and was the most successful yet, creating nearly £500,000 of new and additional income for the region's economy. The total spend in the North East by the Festival and its visitors was £1.7M.
According to the Economic Impact Evaluation Report, produced by BOP Consulting, AV10 attracted 38,161 unique visitors, an increase of 65 per cent on the 2008 event, of whom 9,811 were visitors from outside the region, an increase of 135 per cent.
The report recognises the exceptional artistic quality of the Festival with 93 per cent of those surveyed regarding both the programming and overall experience as good or outstanding.
The report also says that the future potential for this innovative Festival is high with 93 per cent of visitors stating that they planned to visit the Festival when it is next staged in 2012. BOP Consulting predicts that in 2012 the number of visitors could rise to 56,462, with 16,630 expected to come from outside the region.
John Shipley, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said:
"AV Festival 10 has been a great success. The evaluation report makes it clear that the events have reached out to both existing and new audiences and that there has been a real economic impact across the region."
Alison Clark-Jenkins, Regional Director of Arts Council England, said:
"AV Festival is punching far above its weight. Its programme is of exceptional international quality, with its heart very much in the North East. The huge increase in visitors from outside of the region, and the associated economic impact is a reflection of the Festival's commitment to both artists and audiences."