Michelle O'Brien


I am a cultural program manager, creative producer 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 a Master of Arts in Digital Media, Culture & Society [Honours & Distinction] from University of Brighton, and Bachelor of Arts degrees from University of Technology, Sydney and Università degli studi di Ferrara, Italy. Born in Sydney, Australia, I have been based in Berlin since 2010.

Work History

2023 – present:  Conference Manager, INSIGHT, MIND Foundation for Psychedelic Science, Berlin
2018 – 2022:  Director of Events, Tech Open Air Festival, Berlin
2015 – 2017:  Head of Artistic Programming, Loop: Summit for Music MakersAbleton, Berlin
2014 – 2015:  Programming & Artist Liaison, Sydney Festival, Sydney [contract]
2013 – 2014:  Festival Manager, Underbelly Arts Festival, Sydney [contract]
2013 – 2014:  Festival Producer, Our City Festival Phnom Penh, Siem Reap & Battambang, Cambodia [contract]
2013 – 2014:  Cultural Project Manager & Producer, International Symposium of Electronic Art, Sydney [contract]
2012 – 2014:  Program Curator & Creative Producer, SUPERMARKT, Berlin
2012 – 2014:  Director of Operations & Festival Manager, New Forms Festival, Vancouver
2011 – 2012:  Producer & Project Manager, Vorspiel: CTM Festival & transmediale, Berlin
2010 – 2012:  Producer & Project Manager, transmediale festival for art & digital culture, Berlin
2010 – 2011:  Producer & Event Manager, Marshall McLuhan Centennial, Embassy of Canada, Berlin [contract]
2010 – 2011:  Producer & Event Manager, DAS [Digital Art & Sound] Weekend, Berlin [contract]
2009 – 2010:  Marketing & Communications Liaison, Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music: BAM, New York City [contract]
2009 – 2010:  Digital Marketing Manager, Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh [contract]
2008 – 2009:  Senior Communications Officer & Artist Liaison, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh [contract]
2007 – 2010:  Digital Marketing Manager, Sydney Festival, Sydney
2006 – 2008:  Marketing & Development Coordinator, FBi Radio, Sydney

Professional Development

2018 – present:  Leadership Team & Creative Producer, CYPHER inter-disciplinary multi-day festival event program and large-scale honorarium art installation Ethereal Fleeting both featured as part of Burning Man 2018 in Nevada, USA
2018:  Official Training Course in Vedic Meditation Technique, Vedic Meditation Germany, Berlin
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], Australian Yoga AcademyThe Dream Haus Berlin
2018:  Training Program for Communications Psychology & Communication in Stressful Situations, Tech Open, Berlin
2017 – present:  Expert Peer Grant Assessor, Australia Council for the Arts
2017 – present:  Co-Founder, CYPHER international arts collective and inter-disciplinary creative platform, Seattle, Zurich and Berlin
2017:  Training for Effective Communication in Teams, Ableton, Berlin
2016:  Think Tank & Festival Manager 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 – 2018:  Exhibiting Artist & Curator, Berlin
2004 – 2008:  Radio Broadcaster & Program Producer, FBi Radio, Sydney

Formal Education

2010 – 2014: Master of Arts in Digital Media, Culture & Society [Honours & Distinction], University of Brighton
2000 – 2005: Bachelor of Arts in International Studies [Cultural Studies & Linguistics, Italian Major], University of Technology Sydney & Università degli studi di Ferrara
2010 – 2005: Bachelor of Arts in Communications [Public Communications & Social Science Major], University of Technology Sydney


Australian citizenship
German Permanent Residency (Blue Card) and unrestricted work visa
USA Permanent Residency (Green Card) and unrestricted work visa
Full German, Australian & International driving permits

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