About Us

In 2016 Penzance Town Council decided to put out to tender, a contract for a registered charity or community interest company to take on the role of running the Golowan Festival.
Golowan Festival Community Interest Company was established and its bid for the 2016 contract was successful.  Golowan Festival CIC went on to sign contracts and service level agreements with the town council for each of the 2017 – 2021 festivals.
As of 2021 the Golowan Team consists of a Festival Director and two Associate Directors.  In addition, a Community Engagement Coordinator is employed to work on the festival.  Read about the team members below:
Martin Venning – 2021 Festival Director

Martin grew up in Penzance and first engaged with Golowan in the late 90’s as a warm up dj for the bands performing in the festival marquee. In 2013 he joined the Golowan team as Onsite Markets Manager and has been involved with Golowan every year since and is presently Festival Director.

Martin continues to work with the traders and is also responsible for event planning, road closures, health and safety and operations. Martin has over 15 years of experience in event production and has roles at other festivals and events in the UK throughout the year.

Associate Director – Linda McKechnie

Linda first became involved with Golowan in 2012, and in 2016 she was one of the founding members of Golowan Festival CIC.  During her years with the festival she has taken on a variety of roles and responsibilities, including that of festival director in 2018 and 2019. 

Currently her responsibilities include working with schools and organising the Mazey Day parades, recruiting and coordinating the festival volunteers, managing the festival website and working with a designer to put together the festival printed programme. 

Previously, Linda worked as a primary school teacher in London and today she works part-time in Adult Education.

Associate Director – Alan Shepherd

Following four years as a Director of Rough Coast Community Arts, including two years as Chair of the St. Ives September Festival, Alan was appointed Festival Director by Penzance Town Council for the Golowan Festival of 2015.

As one of the founding directors of Golowan Festival CIC in 2016, Alan has been involved in the running of the Festival ever since. Formerly the Chief Executive of Cornwall Marine Network and Chair of Penwith Housing Association, he is currently Chair of Cornwall Rural Community Charity (CRCC) and Chair of Coast FM, West Cornwall’s community radio station. A poet, artist and accountant, Alan has run a weekly music night at The Crown in Penzance since 2013 and within Golowan, his specific responsibilities include Finance, Bid-writing and Entertainment.

Community Coordinator – Nadine Tonner

Nadine’s role facilitates the collaboration and bringing together of people and organisations to deliver projects and events.

She has over ten years’ experience within national print and broadcasting media and an extensive background in the arts and entertainment sectors.

Nadine is qualified in events, marketing, television production and has an up-to-date grounding in business practice. Her breadth of experience enables her to manage and deliver a wide variety of entertainment projects.

She also has extensive volunteer experience within our community.

Many other individuals and groups are crucial members of the wider Golowan Team, these include artists, performers, volunteers, staff and pupils from local schools and many more.  Without the involvement and support of so many the festival would not take place.

Golowan Festival CIC has a commitment to:

Provide an inclusive community event which celebrates the distinctive identity of Penzance and Cornwall, part of the Celtic Fringe.

Collaborate with the owners of event venues to put on a range of events covering diverse genres. 

Deliver free community events over the Mazey Day weekend which traditionally is the heart of the community’s midsummer and Feast of St John celebration.