Bayfest Music Festival Generates Millions of Dollars For City

Bayfest Music Festival Generates Millions of Dollars For City, County and State

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(Mobile, Ala.) – BayFest Music Festival 2012 had a total monetary impact to the City of Mobile of more than $42 million dollars, up more than 13% from 2011.  The revenue is generated from economic tourists, organization output and residents, according to a new impact study led by Dr. Christopher Keshock, an economics professor at the University of South Alabama. BayFest had similarly strong impacts on Mobile County and the State of Alabama, generating more than $34 million and $24 million respectively. The study polled more than a thousand people who attended BayFest 2012, and collected information from 31 questions on everything from length of stays and group size to hometown and dollars spent during visit.

 "BayFest continues to have an incredible impact not only on the Mobile economy, but on our state as well, said BayFest President & CEO Bobby Bostwick.  "We are going into our 19th year stronger than ever.  This report proves beyond any doubt that BayFest provides a hefty return on investment and is vital to the City, County and State."

The 2012 study followed a similar examination of BayFest's impact in 2011.  Bostwick says a 13% increase is huge, especially since so many music festivals across the country are experiencing financial problems.  According to BayFest Executive Director Shana Jordan, "The festival's ticket value and family-friendly atmosphere keeps us coming back stronger year after year."

The Keshock study also shows the City of Mobile collected more than $12 million in sales tax revenue while Mobile County and the State of Alabama both took in more than $7 million from people traveling to the area for the festival.  "At a time when State, County and City revenues are stretched this study proves BayFest's worth as a revenue generator," Bostwick said. 

 According to Keshock, the impact to the state and region is far greater than sales tax revenue alone. The study states that while generating revenue and a return on a community's investment is a top priority, successful events like BayFest are also an important contributing factor in the overall well-being of a host area and they are an important part of the quality of life.

Additional significant study points include:

  • Based on the survey data from concert-goers 72% of respondents are incremental visitors with a home residence outside the City of Mobile; 62% were from outside Mobile County; and 41% traveled to attend BayFest from another state.
  • BayFest concert attendees, artists and workers who live outside Mobile and traveled specifically to the area because of BayFest drew as many as 195,066 true economic tourists.
  • The marketing and media tourism impact generated from BayFest is estimated at $879,876 which provides destination awareness and the potential for repeat tourism to the City of Mobile.
  • BayFest, Inc. spent an estimated $732,000 on local goods and services within the City of Mobile with an economic impact of more than $1.2 million dollars.
  • BayFest concert-goers average group size was 2.69 persons and they stayed 3 days in Mobile and spent $187.00 per person.
  • The equivalent of 154 full-time jobs result as the employment impact attributed to BayFest functions.
  • BayFest Music Festival has generated in excess of $350 million dollars to the Mobile economy in the last 18 years.

BayFest 2013 is on track to meet, if not surpass, 2012's impact with another stellar lineup of entertainers in all genres of music October 4, 5, and 6.  For more information, please contact Shana Jordan at or 251.478.5679.


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