City of Newcastle is advertising for someone to organise a new "flagship" cultural festival possibly bringing together some of the city's existing arts events.
Planning for what would be a fringe-style festival is in the embryonic stage, but it has been suggested the event could incorporate music, dance, theatre, comedy, film and visual arts in an October time slot.
The council job advertisement is for a $103,000-a-year position to "establish and deliver ... the City's first major cultural event, as a major event for the region".
The role will call for some delicacy as the council aims to encourage organisers of existing festivals, including This is Not Art, Newcastle Fringe, the proposed Newcastle City Festival and Newcastle Comedy Festival, to combine under one banner.
The festival would primarily showcase Hunter talent on a scale which could help attract government funding and corporate sponsorship.
But an October time slot could also help it attract visiting headline artists already touring the east coast for the Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne cultural festivals in September.
TiNA is a four-day festival in early October which caters for experimental artists in a dozen venues across the city. It attracted $100,000 in council funding last year.
Newcastle Fringe Festival in late March offers a five-day program of music, theatre and poetry.
Newcastle Music Festival (August) and Newcastle Comedy Festival (May) are other cultural events which could come under the umbrella of a single event coordinated by the council.
The seven-year-old Newcastle Writers Festival, which attracts thousands of audience members and some of Australia's leading writers and social commentators over three days in early April, is likely well enough established to remain on its own.
Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said in a minute to the council in September that "a united approach to the strategic implementation of [cultural] events is required, as well as a plan to unite our vibrant arts and cultural businesses with planned or existing cultural events".
The minute, which was approved by councillors, said the council would "support the facilitation and coordination of arts and cultural festivals and events throughout Newcastle, including, but not limited to, the Newcastle Fringe Festival, and the proposed Newcastle City Festival; aimed at supporting such events in line with our strategic vision to foster a prosperous, diverse and resilient economy by facilitating events and festivals that attract visitors".
Appointing the cultural events manager is the first step in consulting with existing festival organisers.