Last night (January 11th) saw the festival industry converge upon Groningen's De Oosterport, The Netherlands for the third annual Festival Awards Europe ceremony.
The third edition of the awards proved to be a record-breaking night, with over 350,000 votes and 200 festivals taking part from across 32 different countries.
Decided by a combination of public vote and industry juries, Festival Awards Europe is the only event dedicated entirely to recognising the contributions and achievements of the event organisers and performing artists that generate billions of Euros for local economies each year.
In one of the evening’s key moments, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis picked up the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award for his enormous contribution to the industry. Commenting on his award success he stated:
“42 years ago I started something on my farm towards the end of the flower power era in the 60’s and we had less than a thousand people and now we have 150,000 people registered to buy a ticket for 2013. Thank you very much to everyone and thanks to all the people who have been involved in our show and thanks to all the people who buy tickets every year. I hope there are a few more years to go yet, another ten years maybe.”
Christof Huber, general secretary of YOUROPE, added: “Michael Eavis is an icon in the European festival scene and, in my view, Glastonbury is the mother of all European festivals. He is just the right person to get the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Festival Awards Europe."
One of the night’s other major success arrived when Hungary’s Sziget festival was named Best Major Festival. The festival’s Fruzsina Szep, commented: “We were very much hoping to win this award and it really means a lot to us because 2012 will be the 20th edition of our festival.”
Reflecting on a hugely successful year for Festival Award Europe, James Drury, managing director of Festival Awards, concluded: "The further growth of the European festival awards and another record-breaking event highlights just how important festivals are to people across the continent. It's testament to the hard work and passion of everyone involved with festivals that they continue to be so popular. With Glastonbury being the inspiration for so many festivals, I was especially delighted to welcome Michael Eavis to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been seminal in the success of the festival scene in the world.”
The winners in full:
Best Major European Festival – Sziget Festival (Hungary)
Best Medium-Sized European Festival – Off Festival (Poland)
Best Small European Festival – Haldern Pop (Germany)
Best New European Festival – Extrema Outdoor (Belgium)
Best Indoor Festival – I Love Techno (Belgium)
Best European Festival Line-Up – Rock Werchter (Belgium)
YOUROPE Green ‘N’ Clean Festival Of The Year – Melt! (Germany)
Artist’s Favourite European Festival – Southside / Hurricane (Germany)
Best Newcomer association with Eurosonic Noorderslag – James Blake
Best Headliner – Coldplay
Festival Anthem of the Year - Coldplay ‘Viva La Vida’
Virtual Festivals Europe presents Promoter Of The Year – FKP Scorpio (Germany)
YOUROPE Lifetime Achievement Award – Michael Eavis, Glastonbury (UK)