Festival producer – Jobs | ArtsHub Australia


Reports to: Artistic director

Wage scale: > $80,000

Terms: Contract

SWF encourages applications from all backgrounds, communities, and industries, and is committed to having a team comprised of diverse skills, experiences, and abilities.

About the Sydney Writers Festival

The Sydney Writers’ Festival is one of the largest and most beloved literary institutions in the world. It’s a place where readers, writers and thinkers can share ideas, tell stories and celebrate literature.

Since our first festival in 1997, we have brought together thousands of diverse writers and thinkers from Australia and around the world in Sydney. Along with the world’s best novelists, poets, journalists, public intellectuals, economists, politicians, podcasters and scientists, we discussed some of the most pressing issues of our time. We celebrated award-winning authors, long-awaited novels from writers at the peak of their careers, and introduced beginning authors to eager and enthusiastic new audiences.

Readers and writers exchanged thoughts and opinions, perspectives and philosophies, creating a powerful community based on radical dialogue and respectful debate. The drumbeat of questioning that resounds beneath the Festival is powerful and enlivens Australia’s democratic tradition.

About this role

The Festival Producer is responsible for the effective project management and operational delivery of the Sydney Writers Festival program of events on the main stage. Reporting to the Artistic Director, the Festival Producer works alongside the team of Program Curators providing high-level administrative support and communicating information with internal teams to ensure efficient and effective systems and processes are in place.


  • Lead a diverse team of internal and external contacts in the planning and operational implementation of all aspects of the Festival’s Main Stage events program to ensure events achieve the highest levels of artistic and financial success.
  • Liaise with hosts, participants, production team and technical team to coordinate projects, and prepare and distribute contracts and schedules as needed.
  • Provide administrative and operational support on SWF events, including but not limited to coordinating artist contracts; prepare, distribute and update VISA applications; logistics, accommodation and transportation schedules; hospitality requirements; and other key planning and programming documents.
  • Assist the Artistic Director in writing program copy and event summaries for external editors.
  • Contribute to the development of marketing and publicity campaign plans to ensure implementation is coordinated with all relevant internal and external stakeholders and meets ticket sales.
  • Coordinate, direct, and manage the development, planning, and delivery of SWF events and special projects, including opening night, closing night, etc., as directed by the Artistic Director and CEO.
  • Ensure accurate and timely finalization of artist marketing information including author biographies, profiles, publicity requests in the Filemaker database.
  • Provide reliable on-site assistance and care to performers at venues during the Festival.
  • Track and oversee programming budgets (flights, accommodations, speaker fees) and work with the accountant to track and increase program partner invoices.
  • Update and maintain all artist and event schedules in Filemaker ensuring developments.
  • Provide the Art Director with a weekly report of developments and activities.

Selection criteria

We are looking for someone who has…

  • At least 3-5 years of demonstrable experience at an expert level in the development and production of live events at a senior level and independently.
  • Expert management skills working with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Proven ability and experience in leading interactions with international, national and local authors and publishers, and then acting as an intermediary between authors, broadcasters and operational teams.
  • Experience managing multiple projects, often with competing priorities.
  • Successful track record in managing a team of direct and indirect reports using persuasion and influence to achieve goals.
  • Experience in developing marketing and advertising strategies.
  • Experience in drafting and preparing contracts for live events.
  • Strong team, relationship management and leadership skills combined with strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Previous experience in event management, production management and/or artist logistics management (essential).
  • Knowledge and experience using Filemaker (desirable).

Key internal stakeholders

  • The Festival Producer works closely with internal teams, including Production and Operations Manager, Volunteer Team, Media Manager, Ticketing and Guest Services Manager, marketing and development team to effectively deliver the festival program ensuring the highest level of artistic and financial success.

Main external stakeholders

  • The festival producer works closely with writers, agents, publishers, arts and community organizations, vendors, programming partners and other relevant organizations to fulfill its role.

Main challenges

  • Balancing a high volume of projects and tasks, each with competing deadlines and priorities.
  • Maintain a high level of attention to detail in a fast-paced festival environment.
  • Significant stakeholder management.
  • Execute all tasks on time and within budget; report potential problems, if any.


Applications should be addressed to Brooke Webb, CEO, and sent to [email protected].

Applications must include:

  • An up-to-date resume with a two-page cover letter that details your work experience and meets the job criteria. Please also indicate your availability to start in the role.

Closing of applications for 5 p.m. Friday, September 2, 2022.

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply for the position before the deadline.


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