With the IBMA World of Bluegrass and Hopscotch music festivals, plus events such as SPARK Con and Ray Price’s Capital City Bike Fest, September is a busy month for downtown Raleigh. It’s also the best month of the year for direct visitor spending, when non-residents flock to Raleigh and spend money, pumping millions of outside dollars into the local economy.
For Hopscotch and Wide Open Bluegrass, the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitor’s Bureau tracks just how much money visitors spend through reported ticket sales and hotel room occupancy.
“We saw an opportunity with [the music festivals] to position Raleigh as a music town, from a destination brand standpoint,” says Loren Gold, the Bureau’s executive vice president. “With more than 85 venues in the county, we have a strategy that positions Raleigh as the music capital of North Carolina.”
The numbers don’t lie: music is big business for Raleigh come September.
By the Numbers
120 bands at 12 different venues
25,000+ attendees from 27 states and 12 countries
$1.88M in direct spending from
IBMA’s WORLD OF BLUEGRASS
217,225 total attendees for the entire World of Bluegrass week, including convention, trade show and weekend festival
208,755 total attendees for PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass Streetfest and Red Hat Amphitheater shows
92,000 visitors for World of Bluegrass week from outside of Wake County
21,200 hotel rooms booked during entire World of Bluegrass week
$11.5M in direct spending from visitors during entire World of Bluegrass week
$1.3M in media value added for Greater Raleigh market
*All data from Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, from 2016