The spirits were high as arts leaders and corporate, foundation and political brass turned out for a penthouse gathering at The Study hotel in downtown New Haven Monday night, They were there to hear the results of the economic study that Quinnipiac University undertakes every year assessing the city’s International Festival of Arts & Ideas.
The report said June’s festival generated an economic impact of $34.3Ö million, the highest in the festival’s history, “generated as a result of increased attendance at ticketed events, extended visits to the region and higher visitor spending. The impact was a 37 percenrt increase from the 2012 festival.
The 2013 festival attracted 138,985 attendees to the 174 events, 85 percent of which were free. Nearly 90 percent (123,444) attended the free events, including the weekend headline concerts on the New Haven Green, which attracted between 10,000 and 20,000 per day, The figure was a near record.
Other figures of note: Visitor per capital spending was $127.88. There was also 75 per cent increase over the previous year in the number of attendees at the 26 ticketed events. (The dramatic increase is attributed to the greater number of ticketed events and longer runs at the more popular attractions.) Visitors came from the New Haven area (50 percent), other areas of the state (39.9 percent) and out of state (10.1 percent).
The 2014 festival, again headed by executive director Mary Lou Aleskie, will be be held June 14 to 28.The festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2015.