Michelle O'Brien


I am a curator, creative producer, communications strategist, project manager and event director for international cultural organisations. I specialise in large-scale arts, music, technology and digital culture festivals. I have delivered international festivals, summits and strategic campaigns for acclaimed cultural institutions across Europe, UK, North America, Australia and Asia. I am a Fellow of the Australia Council for the Arts’ Emerging Leaders Development Program and an Alumnus of the European Festival Academy’s Atelier for Festival Managers. I hold Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communications & International Relations from University of Technology Sydney, and a Master of Arts degree in Media Studies with Honours from University of Brighton. Born in Sydney, Australia, I have been based in Berlin since 2010.

Work History

2018–present: Executive Producer, Tech Open Air Festival, Berlin
2015–2017:  Head of Programming & Creative Producer, Loop: Summit for Music MakersAbleton, Berlin
2014–2015:  Programming & Artist Liaison, Sydney Festival, Sydney
2013–2014:  Festival Manager, Underbelly Arts Festival, Sydney
2013–2014:  Festival Producer, Our City Festival Phnom Penh, Siem Reap & Battambang, Cambodia
2013–2014:  Cultural Project Manager & Producer, International Symposium of Electronic Art [ISEA], Sydney
2012–2014:  Program Curator & Creative Producer, SUPERMARKT, Berlin
2012–2014:  Director of Operations & Festival Manager, New Forms Festival, Vancouver
2011–2012:  Producer & Event Manager, Vorspiel: CTM Festival & transmediale, Berlin
2010–2012:  Producer & Event Manager, transmediale festival for art & digital culture, Berlin
2010–2011:  Producer & Event Manager, Marshall McLuhan Centennial, Embassy of Canada, Berlin
2010–2011:  Producer & Event Manager, DAS [Digital Art & Sound] Weekend, Berlin
2009–2010:  Marketing & Communications Liaison, Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music: BAM, New York
2009–2010:  Digital Marketing Manager, Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh
2008–2009:  Senior Communications Officer & Artist Liaison, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh
2007–2010:  Digital Marketing Manager, Sydney Festival, Sydney
2006–2008:  Marketing & Development Coordinator, FBi Radio, Sydney
2004–2006:  National Product Development Coordinator, CV Records, Sydney

Professional Development

2018:  Training in Buddhist Psychology Principles with Dr. Jack Kornfield, Logan Hall Institute of Education, London
2018:  Training Course in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction [MBSR] & Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy [MBCT], 8 week course, Australian Yoga AcademyThe Dream Haus Berlin
2018:  Training Program for Communications Psychology & Communication in Stressful Situations, Tech Open, Berlin
2017–present:  Co-Founder & Leadership Team, CYPHER international arts collective and inter-disciplinary creative platform, launching at Burning Man 2018, Nevada
2017–present:  Expert Peer Grant Assessor, Australia Council for the Arts
2017:  Training for Effective Communication in Teams, Ableton, Berlin
2016:  Think Tank & Alumni Residential Retreat, European House for Culture and European Festivals Association, Brussels
2014–present:  Jury Member, apexart NYC international curatorial grant program
2014–present:  Graduate & Fellow, European Festivals Association Atelier for Festival Managers, Poznan
2014–present:  Graduate & Fellow, Australia Council for the Arts Emerging Leaders Development Program, Sydney
2012–present:  Founder & Curator, The Festival Circuit
2010–2017:  Exhibiting Artist & Curator, Berlin
2004–2008:  Radio Broadcaster & Program Producer, FBi Radio, Sydney

Formal Education

2010–2014:  Master of Arts in Media & Creative Production [Honours & Thesis Distinction], University of Brighton
2000–2004:  Bachelor of Arts in International Studies [Cultural Studies & Linguistics, Italian Major], University of Technology Sydney & Università degli studi di Ferrara
2000–2004:  Bachelor of Arts in Communications [Public Communications & Social Science Major], University of Technology Sydney


Australian citizenship
German & US residency and work visas
German & Australian driving permits

Note: My extended CV can be found on LinkedIn or by request at mo@michelleobrien.net