Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce
200 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13502
September 23, 2009
The Utica Music and Arts Festival (UMAF) held in Utica, NY on September 10, 11, and 12 of 2009 created a significant economic impact for the Greater Utica area. Festival organizers, published reviews of the festival and an extensive survey of UMAF attendees reveal that the greater Utica area enjoyed both tangible and intangible effects of the festival, including substantial economic and fiscal impacts.
The Utica Music and Arts Festival has attracted considerable support from the general community since the first event held in 2008.
• The Utica Daily News noted that there are plenty of new features to this year’s Utica Music and Art’s Festival, compared to last year. Those attractions will include the aforementioned tattoo and greens festivals, plus free transportation to and from the over 20 venues throughout the city all weekend.
• The Utica Observer Dispatch noted that the festival will get Bigger and Better this year; above and beyond the first year which featured 240 bands at 19 venues.
• According to Empire State Development economic impact figures and the economic impact of events such as the UMAF; the average spending for a day trip is $55.14 per person per day and the average spending for an overnight trip is $119 per person per day. These figures do not include the cost of the event admission/tickets.
Economic benefits from the festival are significant for the greater Utica area. Direct spending alone was as follows:
• $ 57,300 by Festival organizers
• $220,500 by Event attendees
The total economic impact of the UMAF on Utica is estimated to be:
• $277,800* in business revenues
• 1,092** additional work hours in support of the event
*According to data derived from 2008 research conducted by Empire State Development; an average estimate of $55.14 per person/per day is spent on a day trip. The average spending for an overnight trip is $119 per person per day. These figures do not include the cost of the event admission/tickets. **Busses, security, sound, venue staff
The Utica Music and Arts Festival, held each September within the City of Utica (centrally located within New York State) shows great promise to build a reputation for itself and for the region. In its first year, the festival delivered impressive performance by attracting over 200 musical acts from across the United States to Utica. Approximately 3,000 people attended the 2008 event. Marketing and promotion was done with very little traditional advertising. In only its second year the 2009 UMAF drew big-name artists performing in a wide range of music genres, to the city. Overall attendance for the 2009 three day event was approximately 4,000; a 33% attendance increase year over year. The 2009 event attracted approximately 260 acts which delivered 380 performances over the three days.
Since its inception in 2008, The UMAF has drawn strong praise in the traditional local media and other social media networks. This study of the economic impact of the UMAF finds that the overall economic impact of the UMAF to be positive for the City of Utica and the region. However, there are several data limitations because of the retroactive nature of the study, which relies on conservative estimates of attendee spending outside the festival venue. This 2009 study concludes that “future festivals would benefit from a survey of fans to estimate more precisely their spending in the region.”
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR ECONOMIC IMPACT ANALYSIS
At the aggregate level, there were two sources of spending related to the UMAF in 2009: festival organizers, and festival attendees. Organizers provided data regarding temporary local employees, local vendors, performers and staff, and organizer spending on the festival.
UMAF organizers spent a total of $57,300 for the 2009 festival. In total, there was approximately $277,800 spent by festival organizers, and festival attendees over the three day event. Notably, visitors spent much of their money on entertainment, food and drink, artwork and crafts during the three day event.
As discussed earlier, the City of Utica and surrounding community realized an increase in man hours worked during the three day event. It s conservatively estimated that an additional 1,092 additional man hours were required during the three day event. While no permanent jobs were created due to the event, the event supported existing jobs and increased the payrolls of employees currently working.
In addition to a substantial economic impact, local and state governments also benefited from the UMAF considerably. State sales tax on ticket sales generated an estimated $1,000. It is estimated that Oneida County gained $4,000 from its 2% hotel/motel Bed Tax, and related sales taxes; a significant fiscal impact; especially for a second year community event.
A total of $277,800 of new revenue and 1,092 additional man hours for employees currently on area employer payrolls was the resulting economic impact created from the UMAF. Furthermore, the quality of life within the region is helped by this type of event and related events throughout the year. The Utica Music and Arts Festival in only its second year of operation is proving itself to be important from an economic, and quality of life perspective.
The Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce would like to support the UMAF with all of its future efforts. The UMAF is an excellent venue for creating new economic development, improving the quality of life and; for attracting and retaining a young, innovative, and tolerant workforce to the Mohawk Valley.