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UPDATE: This Way Up: Australia’s Advertising Festival of Creativity has now been postponed due to COVID-19. New details will be announced soon!

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One of the most eagerly-awaited announcements in the creative community came today with AWARD’s official launch of This Way Up: Australia’s Advertising Festival of Creativity.

To be held at The Ovolo Hotel in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo from 10 to 17 August 2021, This Way Up will deliver a feast of events that will challenge and excite delegates by pushing creative boundaries and celebrating the very best creative thinking in Australia and around the world.

AWARD Chair Cam Blackley said: “Hot on the heels of the AWARD Awards virtual show, it’s fantastic to announce This Way Up, AWARD’s new, signature creative festival where our community will finally be able to come together in person for a week of immersion in the power of creativity.”

Commenting on the festival theme, Cam said: “It has been in the pipeline for a few years and we’re really pleased to be able to finally get our creative festival off the ground. It made sense to find a focal point for all of the programs AWARD runs, taking the opportunity to further connect us all through creativity.

“This Way Up will also push the mantra that creativity is everyone's business, that great creative thinking can solve just about any business challenge. It’s the perfect opportunity to take creativity beyond an agency’s creative department and demonstrate to all marketers that in a topsy-turvy world, creative thinking is the only advantage.”

With the full This Way Up programme to be announced soon, confirmed highlights of the festival include:

Speaker events

An outstanding line-up of speakers from home and abroad will feature in a range of keynote presentations including AWARD Work Behind The Work, and interactive panel discussions on Wednesday and Thursday, 11 and 12 August. Stand by for the announcement of speakers and events (which will also be live-streamed for audiences beyond Sydney).

Grand and Special AWARD Awards

Following the announcement of the 42nd AWARD Awards winners on 21 May via the hugely popular virtual show, This Way Up will feature judging of the Grand and Special Awards followed by the winners’ announcement on Thursday evening 12 August in the specially-created Pencil Bar at The Ovolo Hotel. Awards to be presented include The Grand Award, The APG Grand Award, Individual Agency of the Year, Individual Creative or Team of the Year, Individual Director of the Year, Emerging Creative or Team of the Year, Emerging Director of the Year, and Emerging Indigenous Creative Talent.

AWARD 40th: Hall of Fame inductions

Celebrate four decades of AWARD creative genius and be inspired as some of our industry’s true legends are inducted into the AWARD Hall of Fame on Wednesday evening 11 August.

AWARD School winners

After 12 of possibly the most challenging weeks of their life, it is time for the AWARD School Class of 2021 to graduate. On Tuesday evening 10 August, we will announce the AWARD School 2021 NSW winners, with the winning students from other states flown to Sydney for the National AWARD School winner announcement on Thursday evening 12 August at the Pencil Bar.

Educational events

AWARD Craft, AWARD Creative Leadership, and Commercial Producers Council Agency Producer Mentoring courses will all be held during the festival week with full details to be announced soon.

Nightly networking functions

From AWARD School graduations to Hall of Fame inductions and Grand and Special Awards winner presentations, every night of the festival will provide the perfect chance to network with marketing gurus, creative luminaries, and rising stars.

The programme for This Way Up: Australia’s Advertising Festival of Creativity will be announced soon, including the full schedule of events, ticket prices and packages. In the meantime, register your interest to ensure you are the first to receive all the details of the festival as they are announced.

The brand identity for This Way Up was designed by M35.