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Study: Free Press Summer Fest Brought $14 Million to Houston Economy

According to an economic study by the University of Houston, Free Press Summer Fest brought in more than $14 million to the local economy this year, according to Summer Fest producers Free Press Houston and Pegstar Concerts.


Complete Free Press Summer Fest 2012 coverage

The study was conducted by Steven G. Craig and Evert Crawford, a professor in the UH Department of Economics and the Director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the Hobby Center for Public Policy, respectively. Among their findings:

  • More than 26 percent of the total 81,000 Summer Fest visitors were from out of town.
  • Buisnesses and services affected by Summer Fest included food services and drinking establishments, facilities support services, entertainment promoters, employment services, private hospitals, and even oil and gas extraction. Food and beverage and facilities support brought in approximately the same amount ($1 million) in labor income, but food and bev yielded almost a full million dollars more in output than facilities in output at $2.7 million vs. 1.9 million.

Free Press Houston publisher Omar Afra sent us this comment via email:

We truly feel like all of us scoundrels and street urchins of H-Town did this together. We  (FPH and Pegstar) are merely a cog in the wheel. We are so proud to have grown this festival with support and help from our friends, local artists and bands, local companies who service the festival, and the ever growing support from fans.

There truly is a place for live music in the City of Houston and we believe this report demonstrates that it is more than just a niche curiosity but rather an industry creates jobs, has economic growth potential, and should be granted the same consideration and respect as any other industry in our fair city. Our 2013 [festival] is set for June 1 and 2 at Eleanor Tinsley Park. Expect some scary, big announcements. RIP PIMP C.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray