Victoria Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher
Festival Goers Set To Be All Smiles With Funding Boost To Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Victor P Taffa
The Victorian Coalition Government announced today funding of $75,000 to attract more visitors to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and build on last year’s record crowd of more than 600,000 people.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher said the festival continued to grow in popularity among local and international visitors.
“I am delighted to once again announce the Coalition Government’s support of this greatly anticipated annual festival that brings both big laughs and big crowds to Melbourne.” Ms. Asher said.
“The 2012 festival has grown to become the nation’s largest ticketed cultural event and one of the biggest comedy festivals in the world.”
“The additional Coalition Government funding announced today for the 26th festival has been provided through Tourism Victoria’s 2011-12 Events Program.”
Ms. Asher said the economic impact of the festival included significant expenditure in hospitality as festival goers enhanced their experience by dining and shopping in Melbourne.
Research undertaken by the Melbourne International Comedy Festival shows the event’s attendance has jumped by 26 % in five years and its ticket revenue has increased by 32 % to $12.1 Million.
“Major events like this one not only help put Melbourne on both a national and international stage, they make a significant contribution to growing Victoria’s $15.2 Billion tourism industry and creating jobs.” Ms. Asher said.
Member for Prahran Clem Newton-Brown said he welcomed the additional support for the well-known event.
“I am proud that some of the many festival events are held in my electorate. There are 360 events in this year’s festival, and they celebrate and nurture Australia’s best comic talent through stand up, theatre, cabaret, music, film and visual arts.” Mr. Newton-Brown said.
“The Coalition Government recognises the important contribution the festival plays in showcasing the diversity and liveability Melbourne has become internationally recognised for.”
The Coalition Government has also provided more than $1.7 Million in funding to the Comedy Festival through Arts Victoria in 2011-12.
The 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival will run from 28 March to 22 April at the Melbourne Town Hall and 124 other venues across Melbourne.