ASHLAND, Ore.– The 13th annual Ashland Independent Film Festival closes out its final day on Monday. Over the weekend, the festival saw sold out crowds and record breaking ticket sales. The Varsity Theatre was the center of the event, booking all five theaters for the festival.
Though AIFF administrators do not have final counts of attendees for the festival, they have confirmed that they had record breaking ticket sales with over 18,000 total tickets sold over the weekend.
Administrators said Main Street had crowds all weekend, and they sold several last minute tickets to Monday’s shows.
AIFF began sending out surveys on Monday to get feedback from attendees this year, and they say they will use that information to improve the festival next year. Those surveys will also indicate how many out-of-town tourists came to Ashland for the festival this year and how many films they saw.
The Ashland Chamber of Commerce says the film festival is vital to the town’s economy and it serves as a starting point for the busy tourist season.
“Ashland is a town of 20,000 residents and we welcome over 300,000. Summer is definitely our busiest season, but the springtime has really been growing with all the amazing events including the film festival,” said Chamber of Commerce’s Katharine Flanagan.
The Chamber of Commerce also says the festival has a significant impact on many Ashland restaurants and hotels that see boosts in business during the five day period.