Darwin Festival is pleased to announce the appointment of James Gough into the role of Chief Executive Officer

Darwin Festival is pleased to announce the appointment of James Gough into the role of Chief Executive Officer. Gough will lead the team in the delivery of the 2021 Darwin Festival and beyond. Darwin Festival will run from 5-22 August 2021.


Gough joined Darwin Festival’s team in October 2019 before stepping into the Acting Chief Executive Officer role to oversee the successful delivery of the 2020 Festival during extraordinary pandemic times.  


Commenting on the announcement of Gough’s appointment, Darwin Festival Chair Ian Kew acknowledged that “COVID-19 interruptions delayed the CEO recruitment process, but we are very pleased with the outcome. James is a great addition to the team having been involved in the Darwin arts and entertainment industry for over 10 years and we are thrilled that his dynamic leadership and passion will be guiding Darwin Festival forward.”


This announcement coincides with the extension of Artistic Director Felix Preval’s tenure to 2022. Preval has now programmed four successful Festivals including the Festival’s record-breaking 40th anniversary celebrations in 2019 which saw more than 148,000 people attend and a new box office record set with 50,545 tickets sold. With the advent of COVID in 2020, Preval now has unfinished business.


Artistic Director Felix Preval says “It was wonderful to deliver a homegrown Festival this year – and a privilege to deliver a live event at all. DF20 Homegrown allowed us to really strengthen our connection with the arts community and local audiences and I am looking forward to building on this engagement. “My extended tenure means I can focus on planning for larger more complex works that need that that time investment. I am also excited to call Darwin home for another 2 years! “Looking ahead to 2021, the Darwin community will continue to remain at the heart of Darwin Festival, but we do hope to welcome back our growing interstate audience base in a bigger festival format.”


Chief Executive Officer James Gough says “We have had so many learnings from this year’s Festival that will inform our future planning. Nobody knows what is around the corner but a return to a full 18-day event is our plan and we hope to surprise and delight audiences with a genre rich program that attracts not only loyal local audiences but interstate visitation because who wouldn’t want to escape a southern winter for hot tropical August nights in Darwin, where a Festival wonderland awaits.”


Darwin Festival is proudly supported by the Northern Territory Government and City of Darwin. For further information: https://www.darwinfestival.org.au/whats-on/