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One step closer to AK05

5 December 2003

One step closer to AK05

Auckland City’s Recreation and Events Committee has received a report from the Auckland Festival Trust detailing the overall performance of the Auckland Arts Festival, AK03.

The report included information about audience attendance, production, marketing, sponsorship and the trust's financial position.

The AK03 festival did not achieve budget and the council's Finance and Corporate Business Committee will be asked to consider a financial assistance package as unbudgeted expenditure.

The chairperson of the Recreation and Events Committee, Councillor Scott Milne, says AK03 was hugely successful in terms of bringing life to the city, although its financial performance was disappointing.

"It was a groundbreaking event and we always knew these were uncharted waters for the first festival. The loss was partly due to a shortfall in ticket sales and not enough sponsorship funding. Sponsors and businesses have now seen the value it delivers to Auckland. We intend to work closely with the trust to look at the path ahead for AK05, and will address both governance issues and the disappointing financial results," says Mr Milne.

Auckland City played a vital role as the core funder of the AK03 festival, contributing $1.5 million over the last two years towards the planning, promotion and staging of the festival.

“The economic benefit for the city has been estimated at $12 million. This result, along with the variety, quality and professionalism of the programme has exceeded all expectations," he says.

More than 55,000 people attended AK03's 46 ticketed events, and it's estimated that over 130,000 attended the 20 free events.

The events on offer were wide and varied, featuring visual arts, music, theatre, dance, comedy, and children's and fringe events. The festival had a truly local flavour, with 44 of the 66 events originating from the Auckland region.

"AK05 will be bigger, better and brighter as a result of the lessons learned from AK03. It will further cement Auckland's position as the arts and cultural capital of New Zealand."


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