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The Big Chill a big deal for local economy and music industry

The hugely successful Armidale Big Chill event - that attracted more than 4,000 festival goers over the weekend of May 18 and 19 - had a significant positive impact on the local economy generating $2.3 million in economic benefit for the community.

Festival goers were not deterred by the weather and came out in droves to experience the incredible atmosphere and stellar lineup of artists, including headlining acts the Rubens and Diesel, under the big top tent.

The Big Chill artists, including The Rubens, said they were thrilled to be a part of festival and congratulated Council on running a successful event particularly in the face of many other festivals having to be cancelled in the last six months.

The Festival also served up more than 20 local and inter-regional catering vendors, along with kids activities and a local music feature. Hundreds of kids lined up to see their Paw Patrol idols on Sunday, and more than 100 people got ‘chilly’ and plunged or swam in Dumaresq Dam for the Big Chilly Dip. Locals and visitors got to bask in the beauty of our Mall for the Beardy Street Bazaar – a busking and arts extravaganza on Saturday Morning.

Statistics collected by event organiser Armidale Regional Council (ARC), and analysed by Regional Development Australia Northern Inland NSW, showed that the event also attracted 1,140 visitors, most of whom stayed for two nights and attended the festival on both days.

"We are thrilled with the success of The Big Chill and the tremendous economic and social benefits it has brought to our community," said ARC Mayor Sam Coupland. "It really highlights the power of these types of events in driving economic growth and fostering a sense of togetherness in our region.

“The event saw a remarkable total visitor expenditure of $1.4 million. The overall economic impact on the local economy amounted to $2.3 million which includes direct visitor expenditure and additional benefits from supply chain and consumption effects, as well as wages for local workers.

“I can’t emphasise enough how the economic benefits of hugely successful events like The Big Chill have on so many people and businesses in our region.

“From the shop owners in the mall to accommodation owners, the flow of economic benefits was fantastic. And the event saw so many people visit our beautiful city in a unique and wintery time of year and really showcased what a beautiful place the New England is to live.” 

Lana, from Black Kat Espresso in Dangar Street, Armidale said she was delighted with the influx of visitors to Armidale over the The Big Chill weekend.

“We definitely had an increase in visitors coming to the café which was fabulous and that resulted in a 30 percent increase in sales for us on the Sunday.

“Any events like The Big Chill that bring visitors to the region and help small businesses like ours are amazing and we would love to see more of them.”

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