For over two decades Jonathan Holloway has had the huge fortune to be one of the world’s most successful festival directors and CEOs, creating joyous, extraordinary, face-touching, transformational and unforgettable experiences. He now works with cities, major businesses and senior leaders: speaking, coaching and consulting on pragmatic visionary leadership, and problem solving using giant thinking and creativity.
Festivals are the perfect model for the 2021 situation: they are annually reborn from a skeleton team, are developed through global virtual and remote planning, they work at huge speed to deliver uplifting excellence, before going back into organisational confinement for four months.
Starting out as a theatre director he has directed over twenty productions and co-written eight, including Robin Hood for the Royal National Theatre in London starring Maxine Peake and Mark Bonnar.
He founded and led the public events department of London’s National Theatre, before directing three of the world’s largest international arts festivals (Norwich in the UK, Perth and Melbourne in Australia).
His first two major organisations saw turnover grow by 60% and 600% respectively, funding / sponsorship lift by 180% and 1000%, and audiences grow by 600% and 900%. He has delivered live events for more than 5M people, sold £20M worth of tickets, devised creative learning programs for a quarter of a million people and was responsible for the largest arts event Australia has ever seen, when 1.4M people walked with Giants in Perth in 2015.
Along the way, he has…
- been presented with a message stick (rare permission to walk on Aboriginal land and share stories) by both the Noongar Nation (WA) and Kulin Nation (Victoria)
- been made Honorary Citizen of Perth (one of just four, including Hillary Clinton)
- been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (fellows have included global innovators and leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Prof Stephen Hawking)
- received 24 Helpmann Awards including Best Australian Special Event in 2012, 2015 and 2018
- become a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional, the global speaking profession’s highest accolade, earned by fewer than 600 people worldwide) and a CVP (Certified Virtual Presenter)
Mainly, though, he’s known for having limitless positivity and energy, for dreaming up the largest imaginable ideas, having a seemingly unending well of stories, metaphors and references, and for being an instigator of more giddiness and laughter than possibly anyone else in the creative or professional sector.