• Newbury Spring Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • St Andrews Voices

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Cheltenham Science Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Three Choirs Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Cheltenham Jazz Festival


  • Cheltenham Literature Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Ventnor Fringe Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

2017 Mentors

Mette Falk Lauritzen: Development Coordinator, Artichoke

With a background in public outreach at various cultural institutions in Denmark and a BA in History and Cultural Communication from University of Copenhagen, Mette moved to London in the autumn of 2015 to study a Masters in Culture, Policy and Management at City, University of London. During her studies, she worked as a research assistant at BOP Consulting with a number of clients including the Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. After graduating, Mette joined Artichoke as a development intern where she later got promoted to Development Coordinator.

Kirsten Grimmer: Chair, Creative Royston

Kirsten is chairperson of Creative Royston, a voluntary non-profit arts organisation led by a management committee of local residents for the benefit of the people of Royston and surrounding area. For more than 10 years Creative Royston has managed and delivered a range of arts activities and events through-out the year, as well as an annual arts festival in September. A senior PR and marketing consultant, with particular expertise in European media strategy, campaign management, social media, influencer relations, event management and community arts marketing. Over 14 years agency and in-house experience in consumer trade, business, technology and regional PR, with marketing communications campaign experience in lifestyle, home and arts disciplines.

Hannah Lambert: Producer, Fun Palaces

Hannah is a Producer for Fun Palaces, a national campaign for community at the heart of culture with a weekend of events each October - each one celebrates the unique skills and passions of local people - run by and for the local community. She also project manages the Get Creative Festival which is an annual celebration of creative participation, shining a light on existing practice and encouraging more people to try something new. Part of her Get Creative role is stakeholder management, working alongside organisations such as Arts Council England, BBC and the Crafts Council. She has a background in event management and festival curation, previously working on projects including Wilderness Festival and the London Indian Film Festival. 

Helen Scarlett O'Neill: Co-Curator and Producer, InTRANSIT Festival

Over a ten year career specialising in site specific works, Helen has led the design of Secret Cinema (2010-2013), immersive concert series for the London Contemporary Orchestra and special projects for the National Trust and National Archives. Helen has been collaborating with producer Harry Ross since 2010. Together, they work to help more artists make work outside of traditional spaces, creating significant experiences for first-time audiences and raising the profile of next generation practitioners. Helen and Harry curate the Kensington and Chelsea site-specific InTRANSIT festival and regularly mentor students from Central St Martin's Performance Design and Practice course, where Helen first studied.

Rachel Pilard: Marketing Manager, Canterbury Festival

Rachel Pilard has enjoyed an 18-year career focused on music and the arts industry. From her first (volunteer) job at Cheltenham Music Festival, she has gone on to enjoyed roles in artist management, club promotion, record label production, international tour management and she is now Marketing Manager for the Canterbury Festival. For the past four years, Rachel has been driving the communication, design and box office sales to ensure that the Festival is promoting its events to the widest possible audience. 

Judith Robinson: Head of Programming, The Bath Festival

Judith Robinson joined the Cheltenham Literature Festival as Festival Assistant after graduating from Humboldt University Berlin. Following a promotion to Programme Manager, she worked with Artistic Director Sarah Smyth on the curation of the wide-ranging festival programme. She then joined the British Council Literature team, working on projects promoting British literature in China and East Asia, managing the China Market Focus cultural programme at London Book Fair 2012. She is now Head of Programming at Bath Festivals,  working with a team of Artistic Directors on programming over 250 events annually, for both the Bath Children’s Literature Festival and the Bath Festival.

Ariel Retik: Festival and Outreach Co-ordinator (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences), Cambridge Festival of Ideas

Ariel is responsible for the co-ordination of the annual Cambridge Festival of Ideas – curating, delivering and overseeing a series of events in the arts, humanities and social sciences. He liaises with researchers at the University of Cambridge to provide training and help plan their public engagement projects. Ariel previously worked at the Wellcome Trust, where he helped to fund, monitor and evaluate projects that engage the public with biomedical science in the UK and in low- and middle-income countries.

Russ Tunney: Director, Pound Arts

Russ Tunney is the Director of Pound Arts Trust, which incorporates Pound Arts Centre, Magic & Mayhem Festival, Blue Sky Festival and the rural touring programmes for Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire. He is also a playwright and theatre director who has worked for the last twenty years in mid-scale theatres across the UK and abroad. Magic and Mayhem is a delicious and decadent Festival of oddities - Burlesque, Illusion, Cabaret and comedy. Blue Sky Festival is a family focussed Festival of theatre, music and comedy.

Alex Williams: Participation Coordinator, Southbank Centre

I work at Southbank Centre as a Participation Coordinator in the Festival Programming Team. My work includes the programming, producing and delivery of artistic projects across our 14 annual festivals. I work across different art forms with my work tending to focus on participation and creating opportunities for audiences to engage with arts and culture. Prior to this role at Southbank Centre I previously worked with the same organisation as their Education Assistant after graduating from University of Leicester in 2014. I am also a board member for Vincent Dance Theatre.