Writers Festival gets new director

THE man who brought ABBA to Sydney's Powerhouse Museum a little over two years ago will next year bring the Writers Festival to Byron Bay.

Jonathan Parsons has been named today as the director of the 2012 Byron Bay Writers Festival.

Mr Parsons picks up the baton from journalist Candy Baker, who was working as director of both the festival and the Northern Rivers Writers Centre until this year's festival.

In a statement announcing the appointment, the Writers Centre said Mr Parsons had more than two decades of organizing major events.

"Jonathan brings to this position over twenty years experience working in the arts and cultural scenes, both within Australia and internationally," the statement reads.

"He was Artistic Advisor for the 2010 AWESOME Festival (Perth's leading youth contemporary arts festival) and in the same year curated the Sydney presentation of ABBA World at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum.

"From 2007-2009, he was the Director of Public Programs at the Queensland State Library (2007-2009), during which time he managed over 110 events and oversaw the doubling of participation numbers.

"He was one of seven International Associates who developed the 2008 London International Festival of Theatre program, and from 2002-2007 he was the Festival Director for Brisbane's Riverfestival - the city's major annual community cultural and environment festival.

"Jonathan was also Associate Director for the Adelaide Festival of Arts 2002, and from 1996-2000 he was the Artistic Director for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival."

Mr Parsons was quoted in the statement saying: "I'm thrilled to be a part of the Byron Bay Writers' Festival," said Jonathan, "and am looking forward to building on the rich history of one of Australia's best festivals of books, writers and writing.

"Having worked on a range of festivals and events I know that the core support of members and the community is vital to the success of any major event, so I'm very much looking forward to developing and delivering a festival that our members can be proud of and the local community would be happy to stand behind."

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