Independent artists at 2016 Anywhere Theatre Festival break predictions… for 2019!

Anywhere Festival breaks predictions… for 2019

The 2016 Anywhere Festival in Brisbane showed why local independent artists are a powerhouse with a reach and impact beyond expectations to stake a claim as one of Queensland’s major performance events.

Over 18 days in May, 438 performances of theatre, dance, music, comedy, poetry, circus, magic and much more were presented in 63 locations throughout Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan and the Sunshine Coast, making it Queensland’s largest festival of emerging and independent performers.

In all, a total on 97,418 people experienced the festival, with ticket sales up 151% from last year and overall attendance exceeding our predictions for 2019.

“It was absolutely brilliant. It was my first live theatre show and will be one I will always remember. It has got me hooked on wanting to watch more theatre.” Audience member

“Lo and behold, THEATRE IS NOT JUST FOR THEATRES! Can you believe it? Without the Anywhere Festival, a company like mine may never get the exposure it needs to launch independently. It has provided me with an audience base, a mailing list of over 400 people, some profit to share and the means to create work outside the festival as well! ‘”Important” is an understatement! CRUCIAL. NECESSARY!” Dan Gough, Independent Artist

“More like an actual fringe festival than fringe festivals!” Audience member

Anywhere Theatre Festival is a Queensland success story, filling a vital major role enabling independent artists in Queensland like no one else.

“Anywhere Theatre Festival is enabling the most exciting work in the Queensland independent sector,” said Paul Osuch, CEO of Anywhere Theatre Festival. “From emerging to mid career professionals, with over 80% of the independent artists stating their show would not have been possible without the festival.”

This year’s Anywhere Theatre Festival saw albums launches in suburban houses and Boggo Road Gaol, 38% safe airlines taking off from car parks, immersive experiences taking over several floors of a building, true stories of Ipswich women on a regional train station with a real life steam train to shows tackling many of the big issues today in the most entertaining way possible.

“The festival attendance is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Ally McTavish, Creative Producer at Anywhere Theatre Festival, “It’s the Producer in Training in scheme, the inaugural audience nominated Anywhere Awards, it the artist resources. It’s the long term benefits for the community that flow: creative, social and economic.”

The inaugural audience voted Anywhere Awards reflected the range of talent, with winners including all female casts in two shows about Ipswich stories (The Train Tea Society, and I Dated Batman), gender issues (Cassandra and the Boy Doll), feminism in modern Australia (The Foxy Morons), political instability (Underground Ballads) as well as immersive site specific theatrical experiences (Awful/Big Adventure and The Gremlins).

Anywhere Theatre Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland with additional support this year from Brisbane City Council through Central Ward, Gabba Ward and the Lord Mayor, as a significant event through Visit Brisbane and media partner Scenestr.

“We look forward to Anywhere Theatre Festival returning 4-21 May 2017 for independent artists to produce work where we think it works best – anywhere but a theatre,” said Paul.

Contact the festival office on 07 3102 4683 for interviews, imagery and further information. 

Full festival statistics overleaf


• 438 performances of 67 productions and events experienced by 97,418 people across 68 locations in Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan and the Sunshine Coast.

• 84% of all available tickets were sold, up from last year’s 81%.

• 15,446 tickets sold this year, up 120% from last year’s 7,016.

• Attendance at free, unticketed, online and broadcast events are up to 21% to 81,972 from last year’s 67,300.

• 54% of Anywhere Festival attendees only go to 0-3 shows annually outside Anywhere, up from 51% last year

• 47% of ticket purchasers come from outside Brisbane City limits (up from 41% last year.

• 95% of surveyed attendees would have stayed home if they had not come to an Anywhere Festival performance.

Producing an excellent event 

• 94% of in-person surveyed audience members rated their festival experience as Excellent or Above Average with Excellent rating increasing from 54% to 60%.

• 90% of surveyed audiences agreed or strongly agreed that the festival and shows were well though out and put together and 94% agreed and strongly agree the shows were “captivating“.

• 80% of participating artists had their best or a better experience being part of Anywhere than other festivals (up from 69% last year)

Supporting local independent artists

• $993,531 value of resources provided to artists through Anywhere Festival infrastructure and brokerage of rent free performance venues.

• 90% of participating artists achieved what they wanted to achieve.

• 97% of participating artists had learnings from the festival with over 63% stating they were significant or “Aha!” learnings.

• 97 reviews were published – a record – creating exposure and critical dialogue for independent producers and performers to develop their work.

Local Business

• 64% of our attendees had not visited the location hosting the performance or used their services before.

•This means that over 11,304 (64% of 17,663 ticket buying audience members) were introduced to 63 local businesses with a unique and highly rated experience that business partners state (with cross references to independent studies) to be worth on average $141.70 per customer over the course of the next twelve months.

•With 73% of attendees stating they were much more likely to revisit that location or business, this means a total of $1,116,330 in potential new business over the next twelve months (up from $545,131 last year) for the local small and medium businesses hosting Anywhere Festival performances.

 Broader Exposure

• $343,000 Equivalent Advertising Spend generated through public relations activities through 198 feature pieces and 103 mentions ranging from in flight and travel magazines, local radio stations, local, state and national press and the incredible support of online publications

• 243,840 page views on the web site during the festival, and a reach of 134k and total impressions of 523,405 on Facebook.

Long Term Outcomes

The outcomes resulting from the 2016 Anywhere Theatre Festival after the event include:

•With 73% of attendees stating they were much more likely to revisit that location or business, this means a total of $1,116,330 in potential new business over the next twelve months (up from $545,131 last year) for the local small and medium businesses hosting Anywhere Festival performances based on host surveys and independent studies to be worth on average $141.70 per customer over the course of the next twelve months.

• Independent artists involved in 76 new productions have professional level photography provided free of charge allowing them to sell their production and critiques of their productions from a range of reviewers.

•Over the next twelve months there will be an estimated 113 performances including remounting and touring the productions at Anywhere Theatre Festival with 78% outside Brisbane City Limits and 24% in regional Queensland.

•Surveyed audiences stated they were 68% “more likely” to attend more live performances in the next year than they had originally planned before attending Anywhere Theatre Festival. Of the 97,418 total attendance, that means 66,244 people with an average ticket price (including free shows) of $14.60 translates into an additional $967,165 being spent on live performance tickets alone.