Caloundra Music Festival ticket sales fall short

TICKET sales for the 2012 Caloundra Music Festival fell well short of the budgeted target despite the event being held in the middle of a peak holiday period.

Figures obtained by the Sunshine Coast Daily show ticket sales fell $166,241 below projected revenues of $975,000 leaving actual revenue from the event at just $1,125,173 or $109,977 short of budget.

The ticket sale shortfall came despite the three-day aggregate attendance at the event topping 21,200; nearly double that in 2011 with about 50% coming from outside the region.

Sunshine Coast Council's role as promoter of the music festival is expected to come under the spotlight of an operational review now under way.

Major events portfolio head Jason O'Pray said whether the festival at a future date could consider seeking a joint venture partner or similar commercial partnership at a future date would be a matter for future council consideration.

He put the estimated economic benefit to the region at $6.26m.

Council is still to release detail of that assessment.

"A Roy Morgan Consumer Research report shows that of the 60% of Australians intending a domestic holiday this year, 46% will make a destination decision based on a specific music, cultural or sporting event taking place at that destination, " Cr O'Pray said in a release.

That data is being used to justify the event's peak holiday dates on the Queen's Birthday weekend in 2013.

However there is growing concern from within and outside council that the dates have more to do with maintaining the event's sustainability than providing economic stimulus.

Cr O'Pray has previously questioned the dates saying that relying on a captive school holiday market to sustain the event was wrong.

The council had budgeted to spend $1,790,205 on the 2012 event against forecast revenues of $1,235,150 requiring an injection of $555,055 of ratepayers' funds.


However with expenditure to date only standing at $1,508,033 the impacts of revenue shortfalls has been mitigated leaving the council's exposure at $382,860 as at December 19.

The event's entertainment budget was $710,950 but outgoings to date have only been $624,411 while site expenses ran $21,127 over budget to cost $190,883.

Production costs at $145,563 were $43,181 down on forecast but operation costs ran $42,684 over at $168,884 as did site expenses which at $190,883 were $21,127 over budget.

Marketing and merchandise cost $189,525 against revenues of $239,518.

On November 2 the council committed to releasing the overall cost and expenditure of the event by the end of that month. However no report was tabled and requests for the public release of the numbers were not met.

Topics:  caloundra music festival ticket sales

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