Spill Festival looks for new director

The Black Dog, symbol of The Pyre Parade, a new Ipswich tradition, which invites people to write dow

The Black Dog, symbol of The Pyre Parade, a new Ipswich tradition, which invites people to write down their bad news which is then set ablaze on a huge bonfire. The Black Dog represents Suffolk legend Black Shuck. The Pyre Parade is part of the Spill Festival which is looking for a new artistic director - Credit: Guido Mencari

Ipswich community event The Spill Festival is looking for a new artistic director to lead the multi-disciplined performance art event into the next phase of its development.

Founder and artistic director of the festival, Robert Pacitti announced in October that he was stepping down to concentrate on his own performing work and now the festival board are looking for a replacement.

speakers on top of a waterfront building

Clarion Call was a hugely successful Spill Festival audio project on Ipswich Waterfront which commemorated the end of the First World War as part of the 2018 event - Credit: Guido Mencari

Consultants Ben Ryan and Deborah Sawyerr  said: “The successful candidate will develop a bold creative strategy for SPILL and then deliver it. Working with the executive director, the artistic director will oversee all areas of the business and lead an experienced team to deliver their overall vision.

“We are looking for a new passionate and inspiring leader to join us here in Ipswich, a dynamic artistic director to lead SPILL Festival into an exciting new era.”

Speaking as he stepped down Robert Pacitti said: “It hasn’t been an easy decision but it is the right decision. I have spent nearly 30 years developing Spill, providing a platform for other artists which has necessitated that my own work has taken a back seat. It’s now time to redress the balance.

Robert Pacitti, founder of the Pacitti Company and artistic director of the Spill Festival, who has

Robert Pacitti, founder of the Pacitti Company and artistic director of the Spill Festival, who has stepped down from the festival that he founded - Credit: Spill Festival


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“Spill will continue to be based in Ipswich and its work will still remain rooted at the heart of the Ipswich community creating events like Clarion Call on Ipswich Waterfront and the Pyre Parade taking everyone into Christchurch Park to burn our bad news.

“By stepping aside from my senior position within the arts, the opportunity opens up for a future leader to steer the evolution of Spill Festival with their own creative and critical vision. I created Pacitti Company 28 years ago and it has transformed abundantly over that time. It’s been an amazing journey.”

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The emphasis on working with both global and local audiences is encapsulated in the job description which states: “We are looking for somebody to bring an artistic vision and sensitivity to both local and global communities.”

The Pyre Parade, part of a new Ipswich tradition, which invites people to write down their bad news

The Pyre Parade. Spill is a festival which mixes international ambition with a local focus - Credit: Guido Mencari

They said they are looking for someone who can put their own stamp on the Spill Festival. They also particularly welcome applications from people who experience racism, women, LGBTQ+ candidates and people living with disabilities. Applications close at noon on January 5, 2021 and applications of interest can be made online at the Pacitti Company website.

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