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Melbourne Festival

Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway to step down after 2019 Festival


The Board of Melbourne Festival today announced that the search for a new Artistic Director will begin this year to replace Jonathan Holloway, who will be leaving on completion of his fourth festival in 2019.

Melbourne Festival’s Chair, Maureen Wheeler AO said: “After the highly acclaimed 2017 Festival, the Board is delighted that Jonathan will continue to build the Melbourne Festival into the most stimulating and engaging event in Australia through 2019. Announcing the change now allows the Board more than enough time to find the next brilliant artistic leader for the festival.”

Jonathan Holloway, who will return to Europe after eight years in Australia, said: “Whilst Melbourne is an endlessly exciting and inspiring city, by the end of next year, I will have directed four festivals here and four on the west coast. This seems like a perfect moment for me to make the decision, giving the Festival Board and team plenty of time to think about succession planning.”

Melbourne Festival has become synonymous with pushing boundaries, bringing together outstanding, courageous, visionary and ambitious artists from Australia and around the world. In recent years, it has delivered a 110% increase in tickets issued, with box office exceeding $3M for the second time in the Festival’s history, increased interstate attendance by 32% and provided an economic impact of well in excess of $22m.

Details of plans for the recruitment of Jonathan’s successor will be announced shortly and will be focused on continuing to build the vibrant and compelling vision that has been the hallmark of Jonathan’s time with the Melbourne Festival.

The 2018 Melbourne Festival runs from 3-21 October. The full program, the third from Jonathan, will be announced on Wednesday 25 July.


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