Festivals: More Than a Celebration

Festivals bring many benefits to cities around the world. From tourism, to economic development, to community building, there are many reasons cities of all sizes opt to host festivals. TENWEST Impact Festival does more for Southern Arizona than simply provide a good time.

You may be curious about why Startup Tucson founded TENWEST as a festival and why our over 65 partner organizations work year round to being a low-cost festival to Tucson each October.

From music and film, to food and beverage, festivals of all types are becoming increasingly popular. In the US, over 32 million people are attending festivals every year according to Nielsen’s Audience Insight Report. A new type of festival is here to provide more than just entertainment. Innovation festivals promote business and entrepreneurship while giving attendees an opportunity to learn about and solve some of the most pressing issues facing our communities. South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX is one of the most popular festivals worldwide, combining aspects of music, film, and innovation.

A deeper dive into SXSW illustrates all that innovation festivals have to offer. Drawing nearly 300,000 attendees in 2018, the 32-year-old SXSW festival is “a tool for creative people to develop their careers by bringing together people from around the globe to meet, learn, and share ideas.” The festival brings millions of dollars to the Austin economy every year. In 2018, total impact was over $350 million made up from a combination of operations, ticket sales, and secondary revenue like travel and accommodations. Not only do festivals put cities on the map and provide short-term economic value, they can also generate long term economic growth. “So far, we’ve seen the growth of SXSW correlate almost one-for-one with the growth of the economy in the city,” said Michael Sury, a finance lecturer at the University of Texas. In addition to economic impact and growth, festivals foster community pride, teach people new things, and strengthen relationships. Partly due to the success of SXSW, Austin is known as a community where creativity and commerce are cherished. Festivals like SXSW provide great value to their host communities.

Since 2015, TENWEST provides Tucson with an opportunity to grow and showcase its innovation, culture, and community. In partnership with the University of Arizona and the Arizona Commerce Authority, TENWEST will attract 15,000 attendees from October 11-20 to engage in creating social, environmental and economic impact through 100+ talks, workshops and activities.

Visit tenwest.com to buy your tickets today!

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