Last night saw a number of the UK festival industry’s key players out in force at London’s Roundhouse for the eighth annual UK Festival Awards ceremony.
Following the UK Festival Conference, which took place during the day at the HMV Forum, Kentish Town, the awards show, which was hosted by the magnificent Cuban Brothers, saw 16 trophies handed out, with exclusive performances from comedians Trevor Lock and Luke Benson, plus a closing set from John Cooper Clarke also taking pride of place on the bill.
The night’s only double winner was Derbyshire’s Y-Not Festival, picking up the Grass Roots Festival Award, as well as the Best Toilets award.
Folk music and dance promoter Steve Heap was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to the festival industry, having been director of Mrs Casey Music for over 30 years.
Best Breakthrough Artist went to Ed Sheeran, while Paolo Nutini won the award for Headline Performance of the Year for his set at Latitude Festival, commenting: “Get in! Thanks for everyone who watched in the rain, glad you stayed - this one's for you guys!" Chase & Status’ ‘Blind Faith’ took the prize for Anthem of the Summer.
Rob Da Bank’s Bestival was honoured in a brand new category for 2011: ‘Fan’s Favourite Festival’. The sold-out festival played host to such artists as Bjork, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Brian Wilson and Public Enemy.
Best Major Festival went to Glastonbury, while Secret Garden Party was named Best Medium-Sized Festival.
Sheffield’s Tramlines took the gong for Best Metropolitan Festival, with Best New Festival going to Wilderness and Beautiful Days winning the award for Best Family Festival.
Best Dance Event went to Creamfields, with this year’s event boasting Chemical Brothers, Katy B and Kissy Sell Out. Croatia’s Outlook was honoured with Best Overseas Festival.
Line-Up of the Year was awarded to Sonisphere, for a bill, which saw the Big Four – Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth unite on one stage.
Steve Strange was named Agent of the Year and Secret Productions was given the title of Promoter of the Year.
The following were announced during the day at the Festival Conference: The Beat Hotel (Concession of the Year), Shambala (The Greener Festival Award), Capitalize – Bacardi (‘Best Sponsor Activation), Bearded Kitten (‘The Extra-Festival Activity Award’), The Event Safety Shop (‘Outstanding Contribution to Festival Production’).
James Drury, managing director of Festival Awards said: “Hundreds of thousands of votes were cast for over the 200 events which took part across the UK, demonstrating just how passionate people are about festivals.
“The Festival Awards is all about recognising the hard work everyone in the industry puts in – and sharing the thanks and love from the public for those efforts. Everyone involved – not just the winners – should be rightly proud of what they’ve achieved in a year has been more challenging than others.
“This is the best-attended Festival Awards we’ve had, with almost 1,000 people from across the industry coming together to celebrate the world-leading scene we have in the UK.”
A full rundown of the UK Festival Conference will follow shortly.