Revelstoke Summer Street Fest saw a 45 per cent increase in attendees this year.
Margot Wyllie, executive director of the Revelstoke Arts Council, presented a year end report of the festival to city council on Oct. 9. According to the survey they conduct nightly at the festival there were around 29,000 people there this year, up from 20,000 the year before.
The festival saw 69 bands play 66 nights through the summer. The festival is funded mainly by the city, however for the first time this year the Arts Council got local businesses on board to provide food vouchers. They also receive grants from the Revelstoke Accomodation Association and the Government of Canada as well as a grant for new sound equipment from the Columbia Basin Trust.
The festival, in some form or another, has been around since 1990.
“Over the past few years we have really focused on increasing the quality of the bands, brining in a new band each night,” Wyllie said.
And throughout the summer, the council received lots of positive feedback on the quality and variety of musicians that performed. However, given that the amount the council pays the bands has not increased in five years, they requested an additional $5,000 in next years budget so the bands can get a raise and the council can continue to attract talent.
“The event itself really diversifies our tourism base,” Wyllie said.
According to the data collected in the nightly surveys, Wyllie said that 85 per cent of visitors said they were more likely to return to Revelstoke or stay more than one night because of the daily live music.
The data also showed that audience members from at least 18 different countries attended the event.
Average nightly attendance was 473, with an average of 201 people in Grizzly Plaza at once with a high peak of 340 people.