Nick Dodds is a leading UK-based expert on cultural venues, the performing arts, festivals and major events with over 30 years’ experience as a consultant, chief executive, COO and leader in both the commercial and public sectors. He specialises in strategic planning, governance and organisational development, business planning and programme design for venues and festivals internationally.
Nick was Chief Executive of Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival for eight years, responsible for turning it into the south coast’s most successful arts, entertainment and conference venue. He was seconded to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, as chief operating officer of the London 2012 Festival, the UK’s largest ever cultural celebration attracting an audience of 20m. He was Managing Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, the world’s greatest cultural celebration, for ten years where he conceived, funded and realised The Hub, Edinburgh’s Festival Centre.
Nick set up FEI in 2008, and has directed over 150 studies for cities, festivals, events and governments worldwide including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Georgia, Vietnam, Singapore, Iceland, USA. In 2015 he authored the influential Thundering Hooves 2.0 study: a ten year strategy to sustain the success of Edinburgh’s Festivals. In 2022 he developed strategic and business plans plans for the Poet Laureate’s National Poetry Centre in Leeds.
Nick speaks regularly at festivals, events and tourism related conferences and is a past Chairman of the British Arts Festivals Association; IFEA, Europe; and a past Board Member of UK Theatre. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and in 2015 he was given a life-time achievement award by the International Festivals and Events Association, USA, the industry’s highest honour.