Michelle O'Brien


I am an arts and cultural programmer, curator, creative producer and event director for international cultural organisations, specialising in large-scale arts, music, technology and digital culture festivals. I have delivered over 20 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 a graduate of the European Festival Association’s Atelier for Festival Managers. I hold two Bachelor of Arts degrees from University of Technology Sydney, and a Master of Arts degree in Media Studies [Creative Media] with Distinction from University of Brighton, UK.

I currently hold the position of Head of Programming for Loop, Ableton’s annual Summit for Music Makers. Born in Sydney, I reside in Berlin.

Work History

2016–present: Head of Programming, Loop: Summit for Music MakersAbleton, Berlin
2015–2016: Program Manager & Creative Producer, Loop: Summit for Music MakersAbleton, Berlin
2015:  Programming & Artist Liaison, Sydney Festival, Sydney
2014:  Festival Manager, Underbelly Arts Festival, Sydney
2013–2014:  Festival Manager, New Forms Festival, Vancouver
2013–2014:  Festival Producer, Our City Festival, Phnom Penh
2013:  Producer & Production Manager, International Symposium of Electronic Art [ISEA], Sydney
2012–2014:  Program Curator & Creative Producer, SUPERMARKT, Berlin
2012–2013:  Director of Operations & Producer, New Forms Festival, Vancouver
2012–2013:  Creative Producer, SUPERMARKT, Berlin
2011–2012:  Producer & Event Manager, CTM Festival & transmediale Vorspiel, 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, Brooklyn Academy of Music: BAM, NYC
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
2007–2008:  Marketing & Development Coordinator, FBi Radio, Sydney
2006–2007:  Volunteer & Office Manager, FBi Radio, Sydney
2004–2008:  Radio Broadcaster & Producer, FBi Radio, Sydney
2004–2006:  National Product Development Coordinator, CV Records, Sydney

Professional Development

2017: Professional Training Course in Effective Communication, Collaboration and Conflict Handling Skills, Ableton, Berlin
2016:  Think Tank & Alumni Retreat, European House for Culture and European Festivals Association, Brussels
Since 2014:  Jury Member, apexart NYC international curatorial grant program
Since 2014:  Graduate & Fellow, European Festivals Association Atelier for Festival Managers, Poznan
Since 2014:  Graduate & Fellow, Australia Council for the Arts Emerging Leaders Development Program, Sydney
Since 2012:  Founder & Curator, The Festival Circuit
Since 2010:  Exhibiting Artist & Curator, Berlin


2010–2014:  Master of Arts in Media Studies [Creative Media] with 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 Communication [Public Communications & Social Science Major], University of Technology Sydney
1994–1999:  Higher School Certificate, Sydney Girls High School


Australian citizenship; German & USA residency and work visas


Note: A more detailed CV can be found on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/michobrien or by request at mo@michelleobrien.net