Not only did Foo Fighters deliver the greatest night of live music Geelong has ever seen, but it also attracted a huge increase in spending on dining and entertainment in the city.
Becoming the first international act to play a full-capacity stadium show since the pandemic was called in March 2020, the global rock giants Foo Fighters impromptu performance in Geelong was an incredibly significant event for so many, in more ways than we originally thought.
While the night will live on forever in the memories of 30,000 adoring fans in attendance, being Taylor Hawkins’ last appearance on stage on Aussie shores after his terribly saddening passing, new data shows that spending on dining and entertainment in Greater Geelong increased by 26 per cent – or $1.3 million – on the night of the ground-breaking Foo Fighters concert.
Read our review of the Foo Fighters’ Geelong performance here.
Data from Spendmapp shows that spending on dining and entertainment increased by 26 per cent or $1.3 million on the day of the concert (Friday 4 March) – compared to the previous Friday with travel related spending increased by 10 per cent.
The return of stadium rock to Victoria after two years of COVID-19 lockdowns provided a historic boost for Geelong’s night-time economy, which refers to activities that take place between 6pm and 6am.
Spendmapp data shows most of the spending was driven by fans travelling to Geelong, with visitor spending in the suburbs of Geelong and South Geelong increasing by 75 per cent ($1 million) on the day of the Foo Fighters concert.
The Foo Fighters were brought to Geelong thanks to the Victorian Government’s ALWAYS LIVE program, which is the biggest program of its kind in the southern hemisphere. In conjunction with Michael Gudinski’s son, Matt Gudinski, Always Live was launched with an exclusive concert from legendary US rockers. Produced by Mushroom Group’s Frontier Touring, the concert was held at Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium on Friday, March 4.
“The real purpose of Always Live is creating ‘only in Victoria’ and ‘only in Melbourne’ moments and to have the Foo Fighters, one of the biggest rock bands, one of the biggest bands in the world to come to Victoria exclusively, and to play a show in Geelong, the only show in Australia, it’s pretty amazing. I dare say this will be the most significant concert ever held in regional Victoria,” Matt Gudinski said at the time.
He wasn’t wrong.
“Geelong and South Geelong recorded the highest night-time spending we’ve seen since our records began in 2018. The Foo Fighters gig surpassed the spending we would typically expect to see in the days leading up to Christmas,” says Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan.
“Hosting one of the world’s biggest rock bands before 30,000 fans was a night to remember, and a sign that Geelong is going through a real renaissance. The brand benefits for Geelong were enormous, with packed restaurants on Pako and Little Malop Street and hotels and Airbnbs booked out across the region.It wasn’t just travellers from Melbourne, the City was buzzing with Foo Fighters fans from across Victoria and Australia.”
The City is working with event organisers to ensure there’s plenty of other major events coming up to help the industry recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The return of White Night Geelong in October will kick-off a bumper month of major events, including the T20 Men’s Cricket World Cup and the return of local family favourites the Royal Geelong Show and the Geelong Cup.
White Night will be held on Saturday, 8 October 2022, while the T20 Men’s Cricket World Cup will bring thousands of visitors to Greater Geelong for a celebration of cricket, culture and community from 16 October 2022.
For more information visit Events Geelong