Edinburgh Festivals have £620m ‘gross impact’

The Edinburgh Festivals throughout the year contribute £492 million to Edinburgh and £620 million to Scotland in “gross impact” according to the latest study by BOP Consulting.

The latest study was conducted across all the Edinburgh Festivals in 2022 and surveyed 22,000 people.

The report shows the Edinburgh Festivals in 2022 had 3.2 million attendances generated by around 700,000 attendees.

The impact of the festivals in 2022 created 5,850 full-time equivalent jobs in Edinburgh, and generated £33 in economic impact for every £1 invested from the public purse.

Festivals Edinburgh chair Simon Gage said: “The positive impact our Festivals have on businesses, jobs and livelihoods is great news for the people of our city and country – and we need to ensure that this economic recovery is built on a solid foundation of good responsible growth, looking after our people, our place and our planet.

“In this instance our impact is primarily felt by the tourism and hospitality sectors, not by the festivals themselves and the people who make them happen – in fact, their unique cultural programmes are hanging each year by a precarious financial thread, damaged by Covid lockdowns and over 15 years of declining investment.

“We call on all funders and supporters to come together to consider their long-term role in helping the Edinburgh Festivals remain Scotland’s world leading cultural brands and a crucial economic powerhouse for people’s jobs and livelihoods.”

Richard Naylor, Director of Research at BOP Consulting, said: “This study confirms and further strengthens the key message from the earlier Impact Studies that the Festivals are a major contributor to both the local Edinburgh economy and the national Scottish economy.

“This economic impact spreads far beyond the immediate cultural economy, with the biggest beneficiary businesses being those in the tourism and hospitality sectors …

“That the Festivals have bounced back so strongly shows the importance of communal events in our post-pandemic world, with audiences and visitors increasingly seeking out unique cultural experiences such as the Edinburgh Festivals.”