Events calendar boost to attract more visitors

Melbourne is investing in momentum with a record year of events, thanks to a $25 million boost by the City of Melbourne.

The draft Budget 2022-23 to be released on Tuesday 17 May will see a turbocharged event and festival program to entice people in, support local businesses and bring confidence to the city.

After a two-year hiatus, Firelight Festival will light up Docklands in July for a three-night celebration of the winter solstice – featuring a new immersive lighting display, fire installations, music, live performances and food trucks.

The 2019 Firelight Festival attracted more than 75,000 people over three days, pumping $4 million into the local economy.

More than $6.4 million has been allocated for Melbourne’s much-loved Christmas Festival, following overwhelming success in 2021 – drawing a record 1.6 million people to the city.

New Year’s Eve will receive a $3.9 million investment, with rooftop fireworks set to return with a bang, along with family-friendly entertainment and live music.

Moomba Festival, Melbourne Fashion Week, Melbourne Knowledge Week and Melbourne Music Week also feature in the city’s jam-packed events calendar, sharing in $11 million.

The City of Melbourne will also support more than 60 other events across the city with $2.6 million for iconic community festivals and activations.

The Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund will include millions in additional funding for new and exciting events across Melbourne. The $200 million Fund is a joint collaboration between the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government.

The draft Budget 2022-23 will be announced on Tuesday 17 May, with a one-month period of public consultation to follow.

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp

“We’re spending $25 million on events, festivals and activations to bring confidence to our city, enliven our streets and laneways, and cement Melbourne’s place as Australia’s cultural capital.”

“We know events boost foot traffic and spending at city businesses. Our beloved Moomba Festival drew a record 1.44 million people to the city in March, while our expanded Christmas Festival generated $18 million in economic benefit.”

“We’re on track to have our biggest-ever year of events, and this will ensure we can continue attracting huge crowds to the city to enjoy everything on offer – from food and fashion to music and culture.”

“By investing in momentum, we’re showing traders, residents, tourists and investors that Melbourne’s future is looking better than ever.”

Quotes attributable to City Activation portfolio lead Councillor Roshena Campbell

“There’s no doubt Melbourne is the events capital of Australia and that events are critical to the city’s economic recovery. Prior to the pandemic, they attracted almost 30 million visits to Greater Melbourne each year and gave the local economy a $52 million boost.”

“Our retail, hospitality and other small businesses have told us the most important thing we can do to turbocharge their recovery is drive visitation. By investing in a record year of events, the City of Melbourne is responding to that call.”

Fast facts on major events:

  • $25 million for events
  • $6.4 million for Christmas Festival
  • $4.9 million for Moomba
  • $3.9 million for New Year’s Eve
  • $2.9 million for Melbourne Fashion Week
  • $1.8 million for Melbourne Knowledge Week
  • $1.4 million for Melbourne Music Week
  • $1.1 million for Firelight Festival
  • $2.6 million for local events

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