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Economic impact revealed for The Town debut

The debut edition of Brazil’s The Town festival generated R$1.9 billion (€356.9 million) in economic impact for the host city of São Paulo, exceeding expectations, organisers have reported.

The brainchild of Rock in Rio founder Roberto Medina, the 105,000-cap festival launched at the Interlagos race track over five days from 2-10 September, headlined by Post Malone, Foo Fighters, Maroon 5 and two nights with Bruno Mars

The event broke records by selling 350,000 tickets in less than three hours and went on to welcome more than 500,000 fans in all.

According to calculations carried out by Brazilian higher education institution and think tank Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), which looked at the direct and indirect effects of the festival, the economic impact bettered the previously released estimate of R$1.7bn.

“The estimated numbers for The Town were already huge and now, with confirmation from FGV, we see that we have delivered even more,” says Roberto Medina, president of Rock World, the company responsible for The Town and Rock in Rio. “Moving the city’s economy in this way is fundamental. More money coming in also means more investment in each sector. This contributes to the transformation of realities. With each edition we see an increase in these numbers and if it was like this in the first edition, imagine the next ones.”

“A large number of people from outside the city of São Paulo came to watch the shows”

To calculate The Town’s economic impact, FGV worked with a methodology that includes an analysis of the direct expenses of the event’s organisation and the festival’s audience, in addition to the brands. The expenses came to around R$213m, while 23,400 jobs were created by the event.

FGV Projetos executive manager Luiz Gustavo Medeiros Barbosa says The Town has proven itself to be a “mega event”.

“It has an economic impact of around 1.9 billion reals,” he says. “This value is very considerable and the factors that lead to ensuring an impact of this magnitude are: the large expenses related to holding the event. In other words, it is an event that, due to its characteristics, its structure and its form of organisation, has a high amount of expenses for its organisation and operation.”

The festival partnered with transportation company the CCR Group, which guaranteed that the trains that provide access to the Interlagos Circuit would run 24 hours a day on festival days.

“A large number of people from outside the city of São Paulo came to watch the shows,” adds Barbosa. “With this, the economy circulates, new money enters the city, coming from other states, from other cities, which means we have a large volume. Unlike people who already live in São Paulo, these mega-events bring fans who stay in hotels, rented houses, need to go to restaurants, getting around by taxi, Uber, or public transport, increasing the economic impact.

“Finally, the city of São Paulo is able to absorb a large part of the expenses for holding the event, that is, making the economic multiplier even greater. These are the fundamental points and why these major events bring such a significant economic movement and impact on the cities’ economy.”

Last year’s 100,000-cap Rock in Rio generated 2 billion reals in economic impact for its host city after welcoming 700,000 fans across seven days.


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