Shaping the Future of the Festival Industry in SA


Did you know that South Australia is known as the ‘festival state’? How lucky are we to be home to a jam-packed calendar of world-class events. 

After a hugely successful festival season in South Australia, Justyna Jochym, CEO at Festival City Adelaide, tells us what a career looks like in the festival industry and why this is such an exciting field for young people today.  


Adelaide Fringe | Photo Credit: Razan Fakhouri



Justyna’s journey in the industry 

Prior to my current role as CEO of Festival City Adelaide, I was the Director of International Cooperation and Development at the Krakow Centre for Culture, Business and Festivals in Poland, managing global partnerships and international programs across MICE, tourism and festival sectors. I have always been connected to the arts growing up in New York, but it wasn’t until I was in Poland that I found my love and true appreciation for the festival industry. Whilst visiting Adelaide as part of a delegation, I was captivated by the city’s summer festival season and arts scene. South Australia made me feel like I could make a real difference here. That’s why I love working in this industry—it allows me to combine my passion for the arts with the opportunity to make a meaningful impact. 


What’s it like working in the Festival Industry in South Australia 

In my role a typical day involves a diverse array of responsibilities aimed at advancing the festival sector in South Australia. I work closely with my team on initiatives that bring about meaningful change within the industry. This involves engaging with our members on various projects centred around policy-making, advocacy, research and career development.  

Throughout the day, I might find myself involved in strategic partnership sessions, liaising with government leaders to advocate for the needs of the industry, as well as facilitating opportunities for growth and development of our organisation. I often engage in networking activities to foster partnerships and collaborations to support and improve the festival landscape in South Australia.  

Each day presents new challenges and opportunities but our overarching goal remains consistent: to drive positive change and growth for the festival sector, ultimately enriching Adelaide’s recognition as Australia’s festival capital. 


Feast Festival | Photo Credit: Jo-Anna Robinson


Flinders’ partnership with Festival City Adelaide 

The partnership between Festival City Adelaide and Flinders University focuses on enhancing the substance and prioritising the quality of education pertaining to the festival and event industry. Given the challenges the industry faces regarding skills and labour shortages, collaborating with Flinders University offers a promising solution. By engaging with the emerging generation of festival and event professionals through Flinders University, our partnership will serve as a gateway for our festival members to address these shortages. The partnership will also provide Flinders University with support in offering students industry placements, access to our volunteer network, training, and mentorship program, thereby equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge for success in the field. 


WOMADelaide Festival | Photo Credit: Saige Prime


Justyna’s advice to get into the festival industry 

For those aspiring to enter the industry, my advice would be to prioritise gaining hands-on experience, particularly whilst you’re studying. This not only helps you develop skills that will advance you career post-graduation but also enables you to determine your areas of interest, helping guide you on your career path. Volunteering is a valuable avenue to gain this experience, along with using mentors to provide guidance. The festival and event workforce is vast, you don’t truly grasp its magnitude (and the unique skills required) until you’re immersed in it. Oh, and always act with gumption! It takes resourcefulness to do well in this industry – give it a go! 


By Studying a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Festivals and Arts Production), you’ll open doors to a world of exciting opportunities. Apply now. 

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Career Festivals and Arts Production

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