We are excited to announce that lauded artist, curator and festival director Hannah Fox and acclaimed director and choreographer Gideon Obarzanek have been appointed as the Co-Artistic Directors of Melbourne’s new cultural festival.

They will join Executive Director Kath M Mainland CBE as the leadership team for the new festival and have been appointed to curate the festival from 2020—2023, celebrating Melbourne through world-first artistic collaborations and commissions, large-scale public events and installations, food and wine, and an extensive program of art and performance.

Chair of the new Festival, Tim Orton says “After a global search, we are thrilled to have two internationally admired and respected artistic leaders guiding our vision for Melbourne’s new cultural festival and major event. That Hannah and Gideon are both Melburnians emphasises our city’s incredible contribution to culture.”

Under this new and expanded format, we will be able to present, produce and commission more art, in more venues, to more people than ever before, operating at a scale that will genuinely transform the city.

Our local artistic community will be the beating heart of this festival, which will offer more opportunities than ever for Victoria’s extraordinary artists alongside and in collaboration with the best from around the world.

Set to be Victoria’s largest and most ambitious cultural event, the first festival will take place from 19 August—6 September 2020. More details on the 2020 festival—and its name—will be unveiled later this year.

Hannah Fox

Hannah is one of the creative forces behind Tasmania’s Dark Mofo, currently serving as Associate Creative Director. Specialising in sound, live and large-scale art and contemporary music, Hannah's bold work ranges from painting hundreds of sheep for Latitude Festival in the UK to choreographing cranes for a vast car-stunt show and collaborating with Banksy and Jane’s Addiction.

Gideon Obarzanek

One of Victoria’s most successful and innovative creative talents, Gideon founded dance company Chunky Move in 1995, serving as its CEO and artistic director and his works have been performed across the globe at leading festivals and venues. Gideon has recently created works for The Australian Ballet and Sydney Dance Company, as well as a virtual reality film for ACMI.


The 2019 Melbourne International Arts Festival—the fourth and final from Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway—will take place from Wed 2—Sun 20 October.

PHOTO | Sarah Walker