2013 Famously Hot New Year brings millions to Main Street | News
After gaining national attention in its first year, Famously Hot New Year (FHNY) exceeded expectations again in 2013 bringing an estimated 25,000 people from 29 states and four countries to Downtown Columbia and generating more than $1.2 million for local businesses according to a report released today.
“In just two years, this has become one of the top New Year’s celebrations in the Southeast,” said Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. “The positive impact that has on our economy, our culture and our city as a whole is immeasurable and we’re confident that the best is yet to come.”
Featuring a free concert from top talent including the Grammy Award-winning band The Wallflowers, R&B chart-toppers Atlantic Starr, and hip-hop legend DJ Biz Markie as well as local standouts Terence Young and The Reggie Sullivan Band, fireworks, champagne, a midnight countdown and more, this year’s celebration grew in size and scope expanding to a six block area in front of the South Carolina Statehouse to accommodate attendees from as far away as China, the United Kingdom, and Bogota, Colombia.
In order to support this expanded vision while keeping attendance free of cost, FHNY organizers raised $202,500 in private donations this year more than doubling the $92,500 raised in 2012. In fact, these sponsorships combined with ticket and refreshment sales covered more than 81% of this year’s operating cost and allowing FHNY to close its books this year nearly $2,100 in the black. These funds, along with any additional money raised, will go towards funding next year’s event.
Major 2013 FHNY Accomplishments include:
- Moved to Main & Gervais, increasing event space to 6 city blocks
- Increased attendance by 25%
- Expanded VIP lounges increased VIP attendance by over 100%
- Estimated economic impact of $1,276,000
- Expanded partnership support by over 91% with 78% partner renewal rate
- Increased private donations by nearly 219%
- Reduced reliance on public funds from 25% to 19%
- Social media supporters and followers increased by 137%
- Volunteer participation increased by 100%
- Website experienced 93% increase in unique visitors
- Increased in-kind support by 100%