Kath Mainland

Executive Director

Kath joined Melbourne Festival as Executive Director in 2016 from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, where she had spent seven years as Chief Executive. A card-carrying arts administrator, originally from Orkney, Kath was awarded a CBE for services to Culture in Scotland in 2014.

Kath has worked in and around festivals for over 25 years. She has acted as a trustee on a number of arts boards including chairing Festivals Edinburgh, the high-level organisation created to take the lead on the festivals’ joint strategic development.  She has been Chair of Regional Arts Victoria since May 2019.

In May 2019 the Victorian State Government announced plans for an ambitious new festival that will celebrate Melbourne’s cultural, creative and culinary strengths. As Executive Director and co-CEO of the New Festival, Kath is excited about delivering this new major event.

Kath is passionate about the arts, their place in society, and particularly passionate about the unique alchemy that happens at festivals and how this experience is applicable across the world.