Michelle O'Brien

About

I am an arts and cultural program manager, creative producer and event director for international cultural organisations, specialising in large-scale arts, music, technology and digital culture festivals.

I have delivered international festivals, summits and strategic campaigns for acclaimed cultural institutions across UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Germany and Cambodia. These include Sydney FestivalEdinburgh International FestivalEdinburgh Festival Fringetransmediale festival for art & digital culture Berlin, Digital Art & Sound Weekend Berlin, Ableton’s Loop Summit & Festival for Music Makers, Brooklyn Academy of Music: BAM New York City, New Forms Festival Vancouver, International Symposium of Electronic Art [ISEA] Sydney, Underbelly Arts Lab & Festival Sydney, FBi Radio Sydney, SUPERMARKT creative resource centre Berlin and Our City Festival Cambodia.

I currently hold the position is Director of Events for Tech Open Air, Berlin, Europe’s leading interdisciplinary festival of technology, music, art and science, attracting audiences of 20 000+ to Berlin’s Funkhaus and 100+ Satellite venues across the city of Berlin each summer. My role also oversees TOA’s Open Circle and WorldTour programs, with editions so far in Tokyo, Austin, NYC, Los Angeles, and future editions planned for Mexico City, London, Cape Town and beyond.

I am a Fellow of the Australia Council for the Arts’ Future Leaders Development Program and an Alumnus of the European Festival Academy’s Atelier for Festival Managers. I am a jury member for apexart New York’s international curatorial grant program apexart Franchise. I hold a Master of Arts in Digital Media, Culture & Society [Honours & Distinction] from University of Brighton, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications & International Studies from University of Technology, Sydney and Università degli studi di Ferrara, Italy. I have trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction [MBSR] & Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy [MBCT] and Vedic Meditation Technique.

I am Co-Founder and on the Leadership Team of CYPHER international arts collective and inter-disciplinary creative platform, with bases in Seattle, Zurich and Berlin. CYPHER‘s inaugural multi-day festival program and official honorarium art installation Ethereal Fleeting launched at Burning Man 2018 in Nevada, USA.

With expertise in arts programming, curating, creative producing, creative project strategy and delivery, large-scale event production and audience development, my passions lie in facilitating community focused cultural initiatives and establishing sustainable interdisciplinary collaborations between local and international creative communities.

Born in Sydney Australia, I have been based in Berlin since 2010.