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Stonnington Jazz hits the right note

A jazz festival in an inner city Melbourne municipality is fast establishing itself as one of the leading jazz festivals in the country, drawing thousands of visitors to the area.

In only its sixth year, the 2012 Stonnington Jazz program, run over 10 days in May, attracted 12,500 ticket sales, with four out of five audience members travelling to the region to enjoy the high profile all-Australian jazz acts.

As a signature event for the City of Stonnington each May, Council has been working across many fronts to ensure box office success and visitation to the area continues to grow.

Paramount to the success of the festival, Stonnington Jazz secures a diverse and exciting program of both jazz greats and emerging talent. This strikes a chord with the audience, who rated Stonnington Jazz 2012 at 9.4 out of a possible score of 10.

Council venues (including the historic Malvern Town Hall and Chapel Off Chapel) are transformed into jazz clubs and sophisticated, cabaret-style venues. Free jazz is also staged at the popular Prahran Market.

Stonnington Jazz is targeted at an existing jazz audience, while also encouraging newcomers. A tailored marketing and communications strategy has been developed to achieve this, including: distinctive branding which is highly recognisable and used on a broad range of material and mediums;

promotion through metropolitan, regional and local press, with a live radio recording from Chapel Off Chapel; advertising and promotional competitions; social media all year round through the Stonnington Jazz event Facebook page; and the Stonnington Jazz website and online booking service.

In 2012, 82 percent of festival-goers travelled to the region, mostly from other areas of Melbourne. Key concerts attracted nine percent of visitors from regional Victoria; five percent from interstate and 4.5 percent from overseas.

With such a high number of visitors from outside Stonnington, the economic impact of the event continues to increase. An estimated $155,300 went into the local economy on top of ticket sales in 2012, with each visitor spending an average of $38.

To further promote local hospitality, the ‘Jazz Express’ dining packages were developed between Council and local business associations and restaurants. The package includes a $30 express meal (two courses and a glass of wine) before shows.

Jazz Express will be further developed in 2013, with an opportunity to work with local hotels to create Stonnington Jazz ‘Stay and Play’ packages for visitors from regional Victoria and interstate.