Arts & Entertainment

Sundance Film Festival saw larger overall attendance in 2023 with hybrid model

PARK CITY, Utah — The 2023 Sundance Film Festival saw an overall increase in attendance compared to pre-pandemic years thanks to the festival’s new hybrid online and in-person model.

The Sundance Institute shared preliminary economic impact figures from the 2023 Sundance Film Festival at a Park City Council meeting last week, prepared by the Salt Lake City-based company Y2 Analytics.

According to the report, the 2023 Sundance Film Festival had:

  • A combined online and in-person viewership of 423,000
  • 86,824 in person attendees
  • 138,000 in-person tickets and passes redeemed
  • 285,000 online views
  • A total economic impact of $118,302,000

2023 marked the return of the in-person festival following a two year hiatus, as well as the festival’s first hybrid iteration with both in-person and online attendance options. Prior to the pandemic, the 2020 Sundance Film Festival boasted 116,800 attendees, and saw 215,873 tickets redeemed.

This year, however, the festival removed two Park City theaters, the Marc, which sits 550, and the Temple, which sits over 300, in order to intentionally reduce its in-person footprint. Instead, more online viewing options were made available, resulting in a larger combined online and in-person audience than in 2020.

“Though the introduction of our first-ever hybrid Festival resulted in decreased unique attendance in person – we expected this because of our reduced footprint and the optionality of how to attend,” said Tammie Rosen, chief communications officer at the Sundance Institute. “”This was all intended as part of creating a hybrid Festival in order to continue serving new and diverse audiences, and to accommodate audiences who have in-person limitations (e.g. health, financials, etc.). In addition, as part of our long-term growth strategy, we believe that exposing audiences to the Festival online is a funnel to converting them to attending in person in future years.”

The festival received a record-breaking 15,855 submissions in 2023, featured a total of 178 films and projects, and hosted 423 screenings in Park City.

“We were thrilled and really grateful to bring the world back to Park City for the 2023 Sundance Film Festival,” said Joanna Vicente, CEO of the Sundance Institute. “We just felt an incredible energy, people were so appreciative of being back here, of seeing films together, of taking the shuttles, of being in this beautiful setting of Park City.”

The 2024 Sundance Film Festival will take place in Park City from January 18-28.

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