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More than 43,000 people attended Florida Country Superfest June 14-15. According to a survey conducted by the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research laboratory, they spent more than $23 million, including $14.5 million in direct economic impact from out-of-town visitors.

First Country Superfest pays off big time for city

By Max Marbut, Staff Writer

Two days, $23.2 million.

That’s the economic impact of country music in Jacksonville, according to a survey released Wednesday of attendees at the June 14-15 Florida Country Superfest at EverBank Field.

Ten interviewers and two supervisors from the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Laboratory polled 412 people during the event.

Of the 43,300 attendees, the survey indicates that more than 27,000 were at least somewhat influenced to visit Jacksonville as a result of the festival. In addition, tailgaters and others who did not enter the stadium came to Jacksonville for the event.

The survey determined that 17,000 visitors stayed in commercial lodgings for an average of 2.39 days, yielding 16,000 room nights and 2.55 people per room on average.

The visitors’ estimated direct expenditure was $14.5 million. Taking into account the number of visitors multiplied by the number of days spent in Jacksonville and the average spending per day, the total economic impact of the festival was $23.2 million, according to the survey.

“We knew prior to the event that tickets had been purchased in all 50 states and even internationally so we were expecting a big impact from out of town visitors to the inaugural Florida Country Superfest, but still, we are beyond pleased to see just how positive that impact was,” said Paul Astleford, President and CEO of Visit Jacksonville, in a news release.

Visitors from outside Duval County accounted for 64 percent of attendees. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed were female and the 25-44 age group accounted for 50 percent of those at the two-day show. The next largest age demographic was 45-64 at 30 percent, followed by 18-24 at 18 percent.

The festival was the main reason to visit Jacksonville for 97 percent of those surveyed. Hotel and motel rooms were the accommodations for 78 percent of visitors, while 17 percent reported staying in a private home during their visit.

Eighty percent of those surveyed reported an annual household income of $35,000 or more and when asked about their education, 57 percent said they had undergraduate or graduate degrees.

Their personal vehicle was the transportation of choice for 87 percent of the visitors, while 6 percent traveled through Jacksonville International Airport.

Similar studies were conducted this year by UNF at the April 9-13 One Spark crowdfunding festival, the April 26-27 Welcome to Rockville Festival, and the May 22-25 Jacksonville Jazz Festival presented by AARP.

Using the same formula in each survey to determine total economic impact, Florida Country Superfest’s $23.2 million led the 2014 festival economic impact, followed by Welcome to Rockville at $10.8 million, the jazz festival with $2.8 million and One Spark with $1.8 million.

mmarbut@baileypub.com

@DRMaxDowntown

(904) 356-2466

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