Festival director announces departure

Castlemaine State Festival director Glyn Roberts has announced that the 2023 Festival will be his last at the helm.
Castlemaine State Festival director Glyn Roberts has announced that the 2023 Festival will be his last at the helm.

Castlemaine State Festival (CSF) director Glyn Roberts has announced that the 2023 iteration of the premiere arts event will be his last in the director’s chair.
After six years, he will be stepping down in April 2023.
Known for his work across the Australian and international creative industries, Roberts joined CSF in 2017 and led the Castlemaine State Festival through two hugely successful editions of the biennial event, the 2019 edition of the festival was the most attended festival in its history, and his third and final edition, to open soon in late March looking to be the biggest yet.
Also, to his credit has been leading a highly successful multi-stage capital expenditure project through the development of the Castlemaine Goods Shed site as a multi-use arts and cultural space and HQ for the organisation.
Roberts’s passion, drive, and commitment to supporting the many disciplines under the arts umbrella made his time at the Castlemaine State Festival one of growth. Under his guidance, the evergreen arts event became one of the first at-scale productions in early 2021 to successfully emerge from the challenges of covid and associated restrictions.
Of his time at Castlemaine State Festival, the upcoming 2023 program, and toward a new chapter, Roberts today told patrons and stakeholders, it has been a great privilege to lead the Castlemaine State Festival for these past six years.
“I feel very lucky to have been able to call Castlemaine my home and to have had the opportunity to work alongside the amazing team and board here at CSF, the artists, audiences, stakeholders, and community members,” Roberts said.
“Since day one my task has been to ensure the renown of the Castlemaine State Festival as the leading arts festival of regional Victoria and Australia. I am particularly proud of securing $6 million to invest in the future development of the Castlemaine Goods Shed and with the team leading the organisation through the pandemic crisis period,” he said.
“The future is bright for the Castlemaine State Festival and I am thrilled for whoever fills the role of Festival Director and CEO next. I hope to see you all at the 2023 Castlemaine State Festival!” Roberts said.
Castlemaine State Festival Board Chair Dennis Goldner AM expressed the board’s gratitude for Robert’s achievements during his time as director.
“Glyn will be leaving the Festival in great shape, having injected the necessary sparkle into it to ensure its vitality, while navigating us through the pandemic and getting the Goods Shed going as our home and future cultural hub for Castlemaine,” Goldner said.
“Glyn is a young and talented arts leader whom we knew would be moving up to an exciting new role at the right time. That’s precisely what’s happening and the board, team and I wish him every good thing for what’s next and say a big thank you,’ the board chair said.
Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards thanked Roberts for his contribution to CSF and congratulated him on all he has achieved.
“Glyn is a well-established leader in the creative and arts space, and during his time with the Castlemaine State Festival has taken it to the next level,” Ms Edwards said.
“The combination of performance, music, literature, visual arts and film has helped the festival to have an extraordinary impact on the social, cultural and creative fabric of our community, building on its rich history.
“During Glyn’s tenure, he led the organisation through the pandemic, including designing a longer-format festival in 2021. This contributed to the economic recovery of our region,” she said.
“In partnership with the Board, Glyn’s leadership has also ensured the future of Australia’s longest-running regional multi-arts festival is strong. This has included securing $6 million in funding from the Victorian Government for the redevelopment of the festival’s home, the Castlemaine Goods Shed, as well as ongoing operational funding from Creative Victoria. This success is testament to Glyn’s significant engagement within the Castlemaine and Victorian communities, as well as his deep knowledge of arts and culture,” Edwards said.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Glyn over many years, particularly to advocate for continued funding for the festival from the state government, and I wish him and his family all the very best,” the local MP said.
After the upcoming instalment of the 2023 Castlemaine State Festival, Roberts plans to take on a position in North Queensland driving projects to support the thriving arts community in Townsville.
For more information about the 2023 Castlemaine State Festival which kicks off on March 24 and runs until April 9 visit castlemainefestival.com.au

Lisa Dennis
Editor of the Castlemaine Mail newspaper and senior journalist on our sister paper the Midland Express. Over the last 24 years Lisa been proudly reporting news in the Mount Alexander and Macedon Ranges communities.