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Short term contract, long-term exhaustion

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Nicole McKenzie

Working on the festival circuit is like a fairground ride: fast paced and exhilarating, but also exhausting and hard to jump off.

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Photo by phife on Unsplash

Arts festivals around Australia and the world are often dependent on large numbers of contract workers. From ticketing and front of house to bar staff and office admin, through to technical and venue support, such roles are often filled by staff on short-term contracts. Many of these workers line up multiple festival contracts in a row, often resulting in exhaustion and stress – otherwise known as festival fatigue.  

About the author

Nicole McKenzie is a writer, performer and event producer. She has written for The Lifted Brow, The Cusp, and various other publications and performed at Melbourne Fringe Festival, the Sustainable Living Festival and the National Young Writers Festival. As a creative producer for the 2017 Emerging Writers' Festival Nicole programmed a literature themed live game show, complete with songs about grammar.