This Way Up festival returns to Sydney

The Australasian Writers and Art Directors (AWARD) association has announced the return of This Way Up, a creative festival featuring the likes of David Kolbusz, Yatu Widders Hunt and Nathan Lennon.

The announcement:

The Australasian Writers and Art Directors (AWARD) has today announced that This Way Up, the industry’s signature creative festival, will return to Sydney for three jam-packed days in August, rallying the sharpest minds in creativity and hosting some of the most prestigious events on this year’s ad industry calendar.

With the theme ‘Creativity’s Breeding Ground for Worthwhile Opinions’ driving the agenda, the hotly-anticipated festival will celebrate the best in creative thinking via interactive talks, panel sessions, award announcements, workshops, industry gatherings and more at the Museum of Contemporary Art from August 15-17.

AWARD chair Cam Blackley said: “This Way Up was a huge success in 2022 and we’ve built on that with another great lineup of local and international speakers and unmissable gatherings that lead the creative conversation, showcase our sharpest thinkers and celebrate this year’s greatest talent. Attendees will walk away inspired and with a raft of new ideas on how their business can make a difference next.”

Highlights of the festival include:

Speaker events

AWARD is thrilled to announce that David Kolbusz, chief creative officer of New York agency Orchard and 44th AWARD Awards jury president, will headline This Way Up in 2023. One of the industry’s most esteemed leaders, he’ll share invaluable insights from a career spent spearheading creative excellence at international agencies Mother, Droga5, TBWA\Chiat Day, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, BBH and Wieden+Kennedy – and for global brands including Coca Cola, Amazon and Facebook.

Ad exec turned entrepreneur Nathan Lennon, co-founder of Hawke’s Brewing Co, will inspire with his road to riches story that started with a beer with an iconic PM, while Cox Inall Ridgeway GM Yatu Widders Hunt will moderate a panel of Indigenous creative collaborators, and creative technologist Ben Keenan – one of Australia’s most prolific creative directors – will step attendees through his ‘creative sprint’ and the skills needed to adapt and thrive in the era of AI.

AWARD Work Behind the Work will go behind the scenes to unpack the inspiration, creativity and process behind award-winning advertising campaigns from the last year – ‘First Digital Nation’ from The Government of Tuvalu and Samsung’s ‘Flipvertising’, both Grand Prix winners at Cannes, in sessions hosted by Ogilvy executive creative director Bridget Yung.

More speakers will be announced in coming weeks.

AWARD School 40th Celebration

On Tuesday 15 August, AWARD will host an exclusive gala dinner to celebrate 40 years of AWARD School and its extraordinary success in catalysing the careers of some of Australia’s and the world’s most awarded creatives. The evening will be punctuated with nostalgia from the program’s archives and will induct an industry legend into the distinguished AWARD Hall of Fame.


AWARD Uni launches at This Way Up – a new course curated and facilitated by creative luminaries Jonathan Kneebone (co-founder, The Glue Society), Mandie van de Merwe (CCO, Denstu Creative), Julian Schreiber (partner & CCO, Special Australia) and Barb Humphries (ECD, The Monkeys). Designed for mid-weight creatives, two modules of a six-workshop program will take place at the festival, equipping delegates with the skills, critical thinking and confidence to maximise both their day-to-day success and long-term career potential.

The Gold Pencil Award Party

Join AWARD for one helluva festival wrap party on the evening of Thursday 17 August. Amid live entertainment, food, drinks and incredible views of Sydney Harbour, AWARD will announce the most prestigious creative accolades of the year – the 44th AWARD Awards’ Gold and Special winners and AWARD School 2023’s national top student. Plus, you’ll get to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in creativity.

3-Day Speaker Passes are on sale now. For more details and to purchase, go to www.thiswayup.com.au

Source: Advertising Council Australia


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