THE facts are in: the 2015 Gympie Music Muster attendance was more than 16,000 visitors; slightly up on last year.
Organisers said yesterday they were thrilled this year's Muster had returned a small surplus, as a result of tight controls on expenditure.
"It's no secret that over the past four years the Gympie Muster has faced some tough times with bad weather events, declining revenue and increased costs," Muster chairman Tony Nolan said.
"With over 91% of patrons coming from outside the Gympie Regional Council boundaries it's clear the benefit of this event to our region is massive.
"Each year, the Muster attracts more and more new people to Gympie, so we knew it was vital for the economic prosperity of the region to keep it going.
"However, as the Muster exists solely as a fundraising initiative of the Apex Club of Gympie it was vital to restructure if this iconic event was to survive.
"So in November 2014, the Muster 20/20 planning session was conducted with a range of stakeholders and as a result a new approached was brought to the organisation with greater involvement of volunteers and a new executive director to manage costs.
"Clearly all the hard work has paid off with the event returning to the black with a small surplus."
Mr Nolan said it was also important the Muster kept the trust of its local community groups, so this year they were paid first.
"I want to salute the community spirit that this festival inspires in all who participate," he said.
"We are proud to hold an event that celebrates our regions history and is regarded as Australia's favourite camping and music festival."
The survey of 2015 Muster patrons has also just concluded, confirming what many suspected and what the patrons already knew: that camping, socialising with friends and the overall Muster experience are key factors influencing their decision more than any other variable.
The report surveyed more than 650 people across the country to gather data regarding their motivations behind Muster attendance, shedding some light on the Muster and the people who travel from across Australia and the world to attend.
"Of the people surveyed, 24.2% said this was their first Muster and 35% had attended between two to five Musters," executive director David Gibson said.
"It isn't getting any cheaper to put on the event, but we have got to keep ticket prices in check so managing costs has become our number one focus," Mr Gibson said.
"The survey has given us a better insight into what the patrons really want so we can now focus our efforts into delivering in those areas for the 35th Muster in 2016."
THE Gympie Muster by the numbers:
- There were more than 23,000 visitations across the 4 days.
- More than 65 food and market stall vendors were on site.
- 38 community groups were involved in a variety of roles.
- 63% of patrons bought a multiple day ticket.
- 93% of those surveyed camped at the Muster
- Excluding the cost of tickets the average spend per Muster patron was $887.
- It costs more than $3 million to put on the Muster and in 2015:
- Nearly $130,000 was paid to local community groups;
- Emergency services cost more than $220,000
- More thanr $500,000 was spent with local businesses.