Byron Writers Festival announces new Artistic Director and return to Bangalow Showground in August 2024

Byron Writers Festival is pleased to announce a new Artistic Director, Jessica Alice, will join the organisation in February and that the festival will return to Bangalow Showground 9-11 August, 2024.

“We are delighted to welcome Jessica Alice to the position of Artistic Director and look forward to her curation of the 2024 Byron Writers Festival and leadership of the organisation in collaboration with Executive Director, Shien Chee. Jessica’s appointment follows the departure of Zoe Pollock, who resigned in September to focus on her family,” said Byron Writers Festival Chair, Adam van Kempen.

“The Board acknowledges the very significant contribution Zoe Pollock made to the festival in her tenure as Artistic Director and CEO over the last two years, including successfully returning the festival to the stage after the pandemic and transitioning to a new site in Bangalow.”

Jessica Alice is a writer and arts leader who comes to Byron Writers Festival from her position as CEO of Writers SA, the peak organisation for writing and literature in South Australia, Chair of the Arts Industry Council of South Australia and Chair of the National Young Writers Festival. Jessica brings extensive experience with her having worked across literature, festivals, media, theatre and visual arts. She was formerly Program Manager of Melbourne Writers Festival, Co-Director of the National Young Writers’ Festival, in New South Wales, and a member of the executive leadership team at Regional Arts Victoria. Jessica will commence her position as Artistic Director of Byron Writers Festival in February 2024.

“I am thrilled to join Byron Writers Festival as Artistic Director,” said Jessica. “Festivals are vital sites of civic discourse and democratic participation that place writers at the heart of public life –– and Byron Writers Festival has long established itself as a leader in the sharing of storytelling and ideas.”

“I’m honoured to build on the tremendous legacy of the festival to present this joyous celebration of books and literary culture in the Northern Rivers.”


Byron Writers Festival returns to Bangalow Showground

Image: Saul Goodwin, Property Shot

“We had fantastic feedback about the festival site this year, held for the first time in the beautiful Bangalow Showground, so we are very happy to announce we will be returning in August 2024 to gather under the shade of those majestic gum trees. We deeply thank the community of Bangalow for making the festival feel so at home,” said Adam van Kempen.

“We will also continue our strong engagement with the Byron Bay community, hosting Festival events in Byron during the Festival week and throughout the year.”

The annual Byron Writers Festival is Australia’s largest and leading regional celebration of storytelling, literature and ideas. The festival is renowned for its relaxed atmosphere and for delivering a diverse program of stimulating and entertaining conversations that celebrate storytelling in all its forms.

The 2024 Byron Writers Festival will take place from 9-11 August at Bangalow Showground.

Keep up to date with our latest announcements and ticket releases via our e-newsletter or follow us on social media @byronwritersfestival.

Held on the lands of the Arakwal Bumberbin peoples of the Bundjalung Nation, we pay respect to the traditional owners of these lands and acknowledge them as the original storytellers of this region.

Byron Writers Festival