• Buxton Fringe Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Salisbury Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Cheltenham Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Blue Sky Festival

    BAFA: FESTIVALS MEAN BUSINESS

  • Cambridge Summer Music

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Brighton Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

Mentors

 

Mijanou Blech

Operations Manager; Three Choirs Festival

Mijanou has worked in arts and event management for 25 years working on a variety of festivals from Glastonbury to Outdoor Community Arts Commissions. For 10 years she was Head of Participation at Colston Hall in Bristol where she developed youth led and run festival/event and performance programmes. Mijanou has worked as a freelance producer and is currently operations manager with the Three Choirs Festival, a building-based Choral  festival which takes place in cathedrals and other church venues managing all aspects of production, management and event safety.  

 


Becky Brown

Head of Producing and Programming; VAULT Festival

Becky Brown is a freelance producer and event manager. She has worked internationally in the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy and runs SPECIFIQ, an immersive theatre company, in London. Becky’s immersive theatre credits include work at the National Theatre, the Tower of London, Boomtown Fair, and Tower Bridge as well as for clients such as ITV, EA Games and more. She runs The Gunpowder Plot, a network for the immersive and interactive industries. Becky produced the sell-out and award-winning show The ‘Neath at VAULT Festival 2017 before joining the production team full time in January 2018.

 


James Francis Brown

Co-artistic Director; Hertfordshire Festival of Music

James Francis Brown is a firmly established, original musical presence whose works are heard regularly both in Britain and abroad. Recent works include the Clarinet Concerto, Trio Concertante, a Piano Quartet and a work for the Philharmonia, which was subsequently broadcast on Radio 3 by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He was awarded a NESTA fellowship for five years in 2003 and was composer-in residence at the 2005 International Musician’s Seminar, Prussia Cove.
2007 saw the premiere of the orchestral version of Prospero’s Isle performed by the State Academic Orchestra of St Petersburg, conducted by Matthew Taylor, as part of a British Festival. The following UK premiere was conducted by Tom Hammond with Sinfonia Tamesa. His Clarinet Concerto was premiered at the 2008 Presteigne Festival. Highly acclaimed recordings of his works are available on both the Metronome and Guild labels and he is published by Music Haven, Faber Music and Edition Peters.  More information can be found on his website 


 Sara Bullimore 
 
Artistic Director; Newark Book Festival

 

Sara Bullimore is a freelance Arts Consultant and Artistic Director of Newark Book Festival. Sara has been working within the arts sector for over 20 years and has vast experience in fundraising, project and events management, evaluation, education, marketing and artistic programming. She has been running her own business since 2009, working with a variety of arts and cultural clients from private to public and has managed various literature Festivals, during her career. Newark Book Festival, in Nottinghamshire, takes place in July and sees 50+ artists/authors taking part in vents from indoor to outdoor at various venues. 

 


Alison Dancer
 
Assistant Project Manager; BBC Proms and Radio 3 Live Events
 

After graduating from Durham University Alison completed a six-month internship at London Sinfonietta before joining BBC Learning. She has worked for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers, and is currently a member of the BBC Proms and Radio 3 Live Events team.  From September 2013 – July 2018 Alison was Head of Events for Young People in the Arts (YPIA); overseeing season and event planning and managing the team of committee members working on each of YPIA's events.

 


Tom Hammond

Co-artistic Director; Hertfordshire Festival of Music

Tom Hammond is a founding Artistic Director of the Hertfordshire Festival of Music, which is about to enter its fourth year of existence. Tom is a busy London-based conductor who directs several Home Counties orchestras, is to become a regular Guest Conductor for Stratford-upon-Avon's Orchestra of the Swan, and leads multiple youth orchestra projects across the U.K. and in Palestine. He was the first Mackerras Junior Fellow in Conducting at Trijiry Laban, where he was mentored for two years by Sir Charles Mackerras. In 2010 he was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. Tom also produces for classical recording company Chiaro Audio.  More information can be found on his website


 Amanda MacLeod

Freelance Festival Manager; Aberdeen International Festival of Youth Arts and St Andrews Voices

Having read music at the University of Edinburgh, Amanda, has embarked on a varied freelance career in the arts. Having spent a number of years as a freelance Mezzo-Soprano and animateur, performing nationally and internationally, Amanda has recently focused her time on Music Education and Festival Management. Amanda is currently the Education and Outreach Manager for The Sixteen, as well as being the Festival Manager for St Andrews Voices, Scotland’s only festival dedicated to vocal and choral music and also the Aberdeen International Festival of Youth Arts (previously the Aberdeen International Youth Festival). More information can be found on her website


Josh Morrall

Head of Communications; VAULT Festival

Josh graduated from King's College London in 2010 with BA in English Literature and MA in Cinema Cultures. He has worked in the theatre industry as an actor, writer, director and producer. Before joining VAULT Festival in 2016, he was the Head of Communications for an international automotive engineering organisation. He's also had his fair share of bartending experience.

 


Ariel Retik

Public Engagement and Festival Coordinator (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences); Cambridge Festival of Ideas

Ariel coordinated the annual Festival of Ideas – curating, delivering and evaluating a series of public engagement projects in the arts, humanities and social sciences. He liaises with researchers and academics across the University of Cambridge in planning their Public Engagement projects and involvement in the Festival of Ideas, and is responsible for curating and commissioning work with external organisations. 


Sonia Stevenson

Artistic Director; St Andrews Voices & Lichfield Festival

Sonia Stevenson has undertaken a number of roles within the music business and currently splits her time as Artistic Director of both St Andrews Voices and the Lichfield Festival, as well as serving as a board member for the British Arts Festivals Association. In the past she has worked as Promotion Manager at Faber Music, PA to the conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, Artist Manager at Connaught Artists and Concerts Department Assistant at the Philharmonia Orchestra. She is a keen singer and oboist.


Kelly Stewart

Event Producer and Project Manager; Peckham Festival

Kelly has spent the last 7 years building a strong portfolio working on a diverse range of events including large scale commercial festivals for up to 80,000, community led programmes, bespoke high end private events and creative event design. Her skills lie in operations, logistics, health & safety management and end to end event production of projects from initial brief to delivery. Culturally driven and hugely passionate about the live experiences the industry provides and the impact they can have, she thrives on producing and delivering high quality events.