Job Vacancy: Petworth Festival, Festival Manager

Petworth Festival in West Sussex is looking for a new Festival Manager. Responsibilities include the overall management of the festival/business; oversight and general administration of the marketing and box office operations; liaison with and management of the sponsorship programme; and financial and administrative liaison with the Artistic Director and the Events and Publications Manager.

It is expected that this will be a full time role with intense periods of activity in the build up to and during the twin summer and autumn literary festivals (July and November).

Previous experience of working within an arts environment is preferable but not essential. The preferred candidate should be a self-starter, should be IT/tech savvy, and should have the facility to work from home.

Salary according to experience

Please send applications to the Festival Chairman Neil Franks neilbfranks@gmail.com. Closing date Friday 30 July 2021

Petworth Festival has been a key part of the diary of this picturesque part of West Sussex for over 40 years. The organisation is a registered charity with oversight from a voluntary board of trustees and managed on a day to day basis by a small professional team – Artistic Director, Festival Manager, Assistant to the Festival Manager and the Events and Publications Manager. Production services are provided by Rhino Audio Visual. A substantial group of volunteers assists on many levels.

Funded by a mix of box office, sponsorship (private and corporate) and grant income, the summer festival runs for nearly three weeks and celebrates a wide range of the performing arts. Originally exclusively a classical music festival the festival now programmes across the genres, top artists in 2021 ranging from classical stars Jess Gillam, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Imogen Cooper and Mark Padmore to comedian and best selling author Adam Kay and The Blues Band, together with a free family weekend of events and participatory workshops. The literary week at the end of October will feature Sebastian Faulks, Jeremy Paxman, Dame Joan Bakewell, Barbara Dickson and the festival’s President Lord Egremont.

Events at both festivals happen across the immediate region the largest venues being Petworth House’s Stable Yard, Bignor Park and Midhurst Rother College and Seaford College (all C 500 seats). St Mary’s Church has long been the home of the festival and this houses the main classical events and a majority of literary week events. Following the successful streaming of the literary week in 2020, the 2021 will be streamed in parallel with the live events programme.

A Festival Career Online – Tickets on Sale

Monday 17th May
10am to 1pm


BAFA’s annual student conference A Festival Career allows students or recent graduates to network with festival professionals, with a tailored programme of 1:1 networking, round table discussions and panel debates. This is a great opportunity if you’re interested in pursuing a career in the festivals sector but want to know more about what kind of jobs are available and how to get your foot in the door.

Tickets are now on sale and can be bought here.

The programme for the day is as follows:

10am – 10:50am
Exploring Careers in Festivals
Our panellists, Tessa Deterding (Publicist, Premier), Adam Pushkin (Freelance Producer, SHOUT Festival) will discuss how they came to work in festivals, the reality of working in festivals and share tips on what they have learned along the way.

10:50 – 11:10am
Short Break/Networking on Wonder.me

11:10am – 12:00pm
The Future of Festivals
Fiona Goh of BAFA, Mark Currie from RHASS, and David Jarman of Edinburgh Napier University discuss what the future might hold for festivals as we emerge from the pandemic and what this means for the sector’s professionals.

12:00pm – 13:00pm
Mentor Sessions
These will be breakout sessions with festival professionals in which you will be able to ask them about their career progression within the industry.

Meet the Member: Devizes Art Festival

Devizes Arts Festival has been a major highlight of this Wiltshire market town for nearly 40 years. It takes place annually during the first two weeks in June and attracts a wide audience from across the county and beyond.

The aim of the Festival is to bring high quality events to the town, showcasing artists that local people would not normally be able to see. Every year it offers a wide programme of performing arts, including classical and popular music, jazz, theatre, comedy, choral music, poetry, dance, cinema and talks by leading personalities from the worlds of politics, history and literature. Over 30 events take place in a range of venues including the town’s historic Town Hall and Corn Exchange.

In addition to the main Festival, a programme of free fringe events takes place in pubs, clubs and churches across the town.

The Festival is organised and managed entirely by volunteers, supported by the Town Council and local businesses.