“A growing number of economic impact studies conducted by arts groups suggest that music festivals have a big impact on local economies,” write Brian Wise and Naomi Lewin at New York classical radio station WQXR. “ ‘If you do these studies and show them to government officials, they might be more willing to invest in the arts in their own communities,’ says Timothy Mangan, the classical music critic of the Orange County Register…. Mangan found that festivals and venues in Orange County have sought to demonstrate how they create jobs, generate tax revenue, benefit hotels and cause a ripple effect to tourist businesses. A few years ago, arts groups in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts sought to make a similar case. They commissioned a study which found that the arts bring some 6,000 jobs to the region, and help sustain local restaurants and hotels.… Programming has to be unique enough that visitors will come in the first place, and communities must work to exploit their assets while also managing traffic, parking and potential environmental effects.” A separate article by Neil Shah in Friday’s (7/31) Wall Street Journal reports on a study by the consulting firm Beacon Economics about the economics of 48 non-classical U.S. festivals. “The fact that festivals pump money into a local economy may be a key reason why these multi-day, multi-stage events are sprouting up around the nation,” writes Shah.
Posted August 3, 2015