Bruce Springsteen concerts rock in $9.7m to Macedon Ranges

TWO concerts by rock superstar Bruce Springsteen at Hanging Rock brought in about $9.7 million for the shire.

The earnings were more than four times higher than those from a Rod Stewart concert in February 2012, a survey shows.

The Boss and the E Street Band performed two back-to-back concerts attended by 34,000 people in March.

PICTURE GALLERY:  Bruce Springsteen rocks the Ranges

After the concerts, the Macedon Ranges Council conducted a survey, asking patrons about their trip to the area and spending patterns. Businesses across the shire and residents within three kilometres of Hanging Rock were also surveyed.

Of those who attended the concerts, only 624 responded to the online survey. Of those, about 82 per cent were from Victoria, 17 per cent travelled from interstate, and 1 per cent were overseas visitors.

A total of 41 per cent stayed overnight after a concert. Of the 239 property owners living near Hanging Rock, 126 responded  to the survey – 54 per cent of them attended a concert. Sixty-two per cent of respondents said they were affected by the concerts, with traffic being the main issue, followed by noise and litter.

But of those living near Hanging Rock, 84 per cent said they supported future large-scale concerts.

Council’s economic development manager Kylie Lethbridge said the benefits of the concerts were huge for the community and businesses.

“When we combine the visitor expenditure and lengthy average stay with the total business spend, we get an estimated total economic impact of $9,655,302.

“This is significant,” she said.

The council last week decided to negotiate another agreement, of up to five years, with concert organiser Frontier Touring.

Cr Jennifer Anderson said any decision negotiated by chief executive Peter Johnston with the concert organiser would be presented to the council for final approval.

“Any concert decisions will come back to us. We don’t want to over-use the rock,” she said.

The council will spend $1 million on top of a $2 million federal government grant for upgrades to Hanging Rock Reserve.

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