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Impact Study: Newport Jazz & Folk Festivals Contribute Millions to RI Economy
(Published: April 05, 2013)

Economic Impact Study Commissioned
by Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.®
Estimates Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals® Contribute Millions
to Rhode Island Economy

NEWPORT, RI, April 5, 2013 - At the request of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.® commissioned a study designed to measure the economic impact of the 2012 Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals on the State of Rhode Island.

This study was conducted by Advantage Marketing Information, North Kingstown, RI. The results of the 19-page report concluded that in 2012:

- The Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals estimated a direct spending contribution to the State of Rhode Island of $5, 089, 367.00. Previous studies estimated the combined economic impact on Rhode Island at $3, 710, 000.00. (Impact Studies conducted by The Office of Travel, Tourism and Recreation at the University of Rhode Island: 1994 Jazz Festival - $2.11 million; 1997 Folk Festival - $1.60 million).

- 89.1% of attendees specifically came to Newport and Rhode Island for the Festivals.

- The Festivals attracted a high quality demographic and provided significant promotional exposure for the State, which augmented Rhode Island's brand.

- The Net Promoter Score®, an index that measures company loyalty, ranked the Festivals among the United States' most respected companies and brands.

"This report confirms that the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals provide a tremendous boost to Rhode Island's tourist economy, " said DEM Director Janet Coit. "The Festivals are a huge draw, attracting thousands of attendees to Fort Adams each year who impact the local economy by spending close to $5 million on lodging, food and beverages, shopping, and entertainment. The fact that almost 90 percent of the Festival goers specifically came to Newport and Rhode Island because of the Festivals underscores the importance of these venues as economic drivers for our state's economy."

"We were happy to cooperate with the DEM for this study, which provides valuable information on the financial impact of the Festivals, as well as insight into who the attendees are and where they come from, " said George Wein, Producer of the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals and CEO of Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. "We were particularly pleased with the results of the Net Promoter Score, which ranks the Festivals alongside some of the country's most respected companies. For more than six decades, Newport has had a special place in my heart, and I am happy to know that the Festivals have a major impact on this great city and state."


Advantage Marketing Information selected potential respondents as they entered the Festival grounds. Those attendees were given a short explanation of the survey, handed a business card and were asked to go to a website and complete a questionnaire upon returning home. The team opted for the web survey and non-probability sampling techniques with the belief that the method potentially provided more complete information. The completed sample is comprised of a sizable 691 respondents: 490 - jazz, 201 - folk.


The results detailed attendee expenditures, as well as vendor and performer, expenditures for Food and Beverage, Shopping, Entertainment, Lodging and Other. The categories of expenditures were noted At the Festival, In Newport (except for lodging, which included in Newport and elsewhere in RI) and Elsewhere in Rhode Island.


- Median expenditures by Jazz attendees were significantly higher in most categories than Folk attendees' expenditures. While the Jazz Festival had fewer people, its direct spending impact was disproportionately larger.

- Performers spent more on most categories than vendors, adding to the spending impact of the event.

- Jazz Festival attendees visited other RI tourist destinations more than Folk attendees.

- 79% of Festival attendees listed the Festival websites as their chief source of information. Social media and word of mouth were other key sources.

- 41.7% of Festival attendees earned graduate degrees.

- 43.6% of Festival attendees were men, and 56.4% were women.

- 25.2% of overall Festival attendees were in the 25-34 age group.

- 91% of overall Festival attendees were Caucasian; 4.8% were Black; 2.6% Other; 1.6% Asian, 1.2% Hispanic and 0.6% American Indian.

- 22% of the overall attendees earned an average income of $100, 000 - $149, 000.

- The largest percentage of out of state attendees came from Massachusetts.

- Rhode Islanders purchased 15.8% of the tickets sold online to the Folk Festival and 25.2% of the tickets sold online to the Jazz Festival.

According to the study, Newport Festivals Foundation produces a concert series that offers a significant positive economic impact to the State of Rhode Island. The events are extremely well received by their audiences and their experiences serve as positive promotional opportunities for the State overall.

More information and the complete results of the Economic Impact Studies are available at www.newportfestivalsfoundation.org and www.dem.ri.gov.

# # #

More Information: http://www.newportfestivalsfoundation.org

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