Julian began his Fringe journey 25 years ago in Edinburgh, where he gained his first taste of both performing and producing. Two more Fringes and a national comedy tour later, he gave up the day job at as an account manager at a marketing agency and ran away to drama school. Upon graduating, he co-founded an Edinburgh Fringe venue, where he programmed more than seven hundred shows, including two summer seasons in London and helping to tour artists to the Fringes of Adelaide, Montreal and across the UK. He produced his first Brighton Fringe event in 2009 and has been in his current role since October 2011. Over his time at Brighton Fringe, the festival has more than doubled in audience numbers with a 40% increase in the number of events. He has worked to develop international links and has been on the awards jury of the National Arts Festival of South Africa and Amsterdam Fringe, as well as being a festival delegate at many festivals worldwide. He was Chair of the World Fringe Alliance (an association of the Fringe festivals of Adelaide, Perth, National Arts Festival, Prague, Amsterdam, Brighton, Edinburgh, New York and Hollywood). He is also on the board of the Lagos Fringe in Nigeria.
On joining the board: Being on the board of Brighton Fringe, as well as being the CEO is a great privilege and I hope that I bring the experience, energy and insight needed for the role. We need to be constantly looking for ways to improve though, now more than ever as we seek to rebuild the sector out of the destruction caused as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
How do you hope to impact of Brighton Fringe going forward: I believe the best way to lead is to listen. This is especially important with an open-access arts festival such as Brighton Fringe, which represents so many thousands of independent artists, arts businesses, venue staff, freelancers and volunteers. I want to ensure that Brighton Fringe both serves and champions the community that it represents, so that we can be a useful platform to launch and sustain careers in the arts.