According to an Official Information Act request initiated by dunedinsound.com, the Dunedin City Council spent $221,000 on Ed Sheeran’s three day visit to the city.
The money was spent on pedestrianising the octagon, entertainment events, and marketing. Most of it came out of existing budgets.
The total breakdown of costs is below:
|Octagon Pedestrianisation||$60,700 – includes traffic management, furniture, contractors, and lighting.||DCC staff labour costs were met through existing budgets.|
|City Marketing and Promotion||$18,000 – includes media, social media and the Ed Sheeran mural cost.||DCC staff labour costs were met through existing budgets.|
|City Activation||$142,300 – includes costs for entertainment along the walking route, funding of events such as Autumn Lights, Octagon entertainment and Otago Sounds Amazing Museum event. Costs also covered traffic management, additional public toilets, transport, waste management and volunteer and technical support for city activity.||DCC staff labour costs were primarily met through existing budgets. Additional event, transport and volunteer coordination assistance was contracted at a total cost of $16,000. The contracted figure is included in the $142,325.14 City Activation activity cost.|
The $18,000 spent on marketing stands out as the most ludicrous. Why is a city council spending money to promote an international pop star?
It’s also hard to say whether this expenditure paid off.
According to figures released by payment processor Paymark spending in the Otago region was $320.1 million, up 10.2% for the month of March 2018 compared to March 2017. This increase sounds reasonably impressive until you realize that this sort of growth is fairly typical. For example easter 2017 spending increased by 9.1% and in Easter 2016 it increased by 12.4%.
So maybe the city didn’t receive the promised massive economical boon which was likely used to justify stuff like $8,000 murals, but it was still pretty cool to see so much local arts and culture crammed into such a small period through the various octagon performances and other events. It’s a shame a featureless pile of milquetoast mediocrity had to be the excuse but I guess that’s how it is.