The current Artistic Director of Melbourne Festival, Jonathan Holloway, will step down from the role after completing his fourth festival in 2019.
Photo credit: Sarah Walker
Jonathan Holloway is to step down as Artistic Director of Melbourne Festival at the end of his fourth festival in 2019.
The move comes despite Holloway’s contact, at the time of his original appointment, being open-ended rather than the usual fixed term of three to four years which is the norm for Australian festivals.
As Maureen Wheeler, Melbourne Festival Chair, told ArtsHub in 2017: ‘The Board made the decision on the basis that an open ended term would mean that Jonathan and the Festival team could undertake ambitious long-lead commissions and collaborations, and could build relationships in the city without the constraints of a time limit.’
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.’
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The search for a new Artistic Director will begin this year, in order to ensure a smooth transition for Holloway’s successor.
‘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,’ Wheeler said today in a statement. 'Announcing the change now allows the Board more than enough time to find the next brilliant artistic leader for the festival.'
Details of the recruitment process for Holloway’s successor will be announced in due course.
The 2018 Melbourne Festival runs from 3-21 October. The full program, Holloway’s third, will be announced on Wednesday 25 July.
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