To be recognised internationally as a contemporary world site and Melbourne’s inspirational public space.

To manage and develop Fed Square to actively support and reflect Melbourne’s pre-eminent civic and cultural strengths.

Melbourne Festival announces new Artistic Director

Fed Square resident, Melbourne Festival announces its new director.

Theatre director, playwright, dramaturg, programmer and festival director, Jonathan Holloway is next in line to inspire our city as Melbourne Festival’s Artistic Director from 2016.

Jonathan has been Artistic Director of the Perth International Arts Festival since 2012. Prior to Perth he spent six years as Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, during which time audiences increased tenfold and it became the third largest annual city arts festival in the UK.


“Jonathan comes to Melbourne Festival with an impressive track record, evident creative energy and a strong understanding of how festivals can impact our city’s people” Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley said. His “appointment is another plank in building Melbourne’s reputation as a creative industries hub”.

Holloway will move to Melbourne in April to begin work on programming the 2016 Melbourne Festival.

Here’s what he had to say about the move in a quick Q&A:

What excites you about leading Melbourne Festival, from an artistic perspective, into the future?
Melbourne is such a great and inspiring city in which to run a Festival. The sophisticated and dedicated audiences, the brilliant artists, the venues, the streets and public spaces – it is no wonder that the Festival has transformed and reinvented itself so many times over the past 30 years.

What can Melbourne expect from your festivals?
I hope… big ideas, great artists, new creations, collective moments, individual discoveries, transformative experiences and constant surprises.

What has been your most memorable arts experience to date?
Impossible to pick one! So, to pick five: the Australian stage production of Cloudstreet; Batsheva Dance Company’s Sadeh 21; Teatro de los Sentidos’ Oraculos; Dawn Upshaw singing yre by Osvoldo Golijov and (sorry) Royal de Luxe’s Giants.

Melbourne is your new home – have you got a favourite place yet?
Again, impossible to pick one. Today I am mostly excited by rooftop bars, trams, arts venues, laneways, coffee shops and restaurants.

Melbourne Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2015, with Artistic Director Josephine Ridge presenting her third Festival program from 8 – 25 October. The Opening Ceremony, TANDERRUM will once again take place at Fed Square.


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