Jonathan Holloway

International Artistic Director and Speaker on Giant Thinking

Jonathan Holloway is the extraordinarily accomplished international artistic director who devised and delivered Australia’s largest single cultural event: The Giants in Perth. Over three days, this unique event disrupted the city of Perth, closing down the CBD as an audience of 1.4 million people chose to walk with giants through the streets. Staging The Giants in Perth, required Jonathan to manage a team of over 400 people and to negotiate and coordinate with politicians, tourism and culture bodies, the emergency services, the military, Aboriginal elders, the Returned and Services League, schools, main roads, hoteliers, major business and the public.

A unique keynote speaker, Jonathan draws on his experiences with Giants in Perth to entertain audiences with stories about the skills, techniques and tricks needed to bring together every part of a city’s operations. In doing so, he inspires innovation, creativity and disruption, and teaches audiences the powers of persuasion, negotiation, fundraising, motivation, team building, leadership, story telling, health and safety… and more, so that they too can deliver giant projects with success.

More about Jonathan Holloway:

Born and bred in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Jonathan Holloway has spent the last twenty years travelling the world as a Festival Director, chief executive, educator and cultural leader.

He has helped transform great organisations and cities through exhilarating art and irresistible spectacle, from London’s National Theatre to major international arts festivals in Europe and Australia.

In 2012, he opened his first Perth International Arts Festival with a spectacular that saw 30,000 people dance in the streets as angels and two tonnes of feathers descended from the sky.

In 2015, he masterminded the largest single arts event Australia has ever seen, when 1.4 million people stopped what they were doing for three days so they could walk with giants through the main streets of Perth. That year, the City Of Perth made him an ‘Honorary Citizen’, an accolade he shares with just five other people including Hillary Clinton.

As the Artistic Director of Melbourne International Arts Festival, the flagship arts event of Australia’s cultural capital, Jonathan’s production was hailed by the Sydney Morning Herald in 2017 as “the strongest Melbourne Festival in years… only the brilliance and daring of festival director Jonathan Holloway’s programming made it possible, and if you didn’t see it, you missed a landmark theatrical event”.

Nothing short of a Giant thinker, Jonathan is renowned for his detailed delivery, creative leadership and powerful persuasion, corporate storytelling and the celebration of everyday heroes. A humorous, inspiring and compelling speaker, his presentations are jam packed with breakthrough stories from the arts and culture that demonstrate practical strategies businesses can implement to increase productivity, profitability and happiness.

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