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Port Fairy Folk Festival Inc     Media – For Immediate Release      10 Nov 2015

PROGRAM DIRECTOR SEARCH

The Port Fairy Folk Festival Committee has announced the retirement of Jamie McKew as the Festival Director and that the 40th festival in March 2016 will his finale.

The President of the Committee, Bruce Leishman, said it will be a massive change for the event as Jamie was a founding member of the festival and has been President, Programmer or Director for 38 of the 40 events. A stunning achievement for the local Geelong doctor. Jamie’s passion for the event will not be surpassed and, in all his years, every festival has been sold out which is testament to his skill and knowledge of the music industry. The reputation of the festival has been built upon by Jamie’s enthusiasm and creativity. Many artists have been given a chance by Jamie to perform at the festival and “I would hate to think of the number of acts, artists, performers that have graced Jamie’s laptop”. Mr Leishman said that Jamie’s decision to relinquish the role was akin to closing a book or the end of a record. Jamie’s standing within the industry is noted worldwide and many artists from overseas, let alone our national acts, are only too willing to perform on his stage. What commenced in 1977 with 400 patrons now attracts over 15,000 artists, volunteers and patrons.

In announcing the news Mr Leishman said that the Committee have reviewed the Festival Director position as Jamie had taken it upon himself to perform extra responsibilities as the Committee itself went through a restructure. The workload had become too great and the time was now ripe to review some of these responsibilities. It was likely that the Committee would assume some of the roles as well as engage contractors to assist in keeping the festival a major event, while at the same time keeping Jamie’s successful team in place.

The position of Program Director will be advertised within the coming weeks and likely to commence on 14 November and close on 11 December 2015. The Selection Committee expected to conduct interviews early in January 2016 and hoped to have an appointment made by the end of January. It would be important for the new Program Director to be involved with all the activities for the 40th Festival, with a view to taking over the reigns from 1 July 2016. Mr Leishman said that Jamie will continue his relationship with the Festival as mentor for the new Program Director

Many tributes will no doubt flow during the 40th Festival for Mr McKew as he races around the stages making sure that the performers, sound, lighting and a myriad of other items are working to make this festival a tribute to all the successes.

Bruce Leishman
President, Port Fairy Folk Festival
Ph: (03) 5568 2227            E: [email protected]

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