Controversy as Big West Festival announces closure

Current funding challenges facing the arts sector are not the reason for the festival’s closure says Chair, while stakeholders fume over lack of consultation.
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Publicity image for The graceful giraffe cannot become a monkey, Big West Festival 2015.

Big West Festival, established in 1997 with the aim of addressing issues of geographic, cultural and social isolation for the residents of Melbourne’s western suburbs, today announced it would close by the end of the year.

The Board of Big West Festival unanimously decided the organisation will retire by 31 December 2016, following the completion of current projects including Mobile Art Spaces and HOUSE.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts