UK Festival Conference agenda and Awards nominees out

Challenges such as extreme weather, financial losses and energy efficiency will be firm fixtures on the agenda for this year’s UK Festival Conference 2012 where industry professionals are set to gather on Monday 3rd December at The Roundhouse, North London. Panels featuring veteran industry figureheads alongside up-and-coming, young promoters will provide an opportunity for the industry to convene and discuss one of the toughest years on record for UK festivals, whilst the evening’s awards presentation will provide a more positive look at what was still a successful and music-filled summer for many. Shortlists for categories such as Best Major Festival, Best Dance Festival and Headline Performance of the year have been revealed.

From giant majors such as Download, V Festival and Bestival, to grass roots independents including Beautiful Days and Kendal Calling, many have enjoyed spectacularly successful editions. 2012 saw the largest number of new festivals entering the market for many years, plus, with overall ticket sales up on last year, one certainty the industry can rely on right now is that the British public’s appetite and passion for music festivals shows no sign of diminishing – it is only growing.

However, as has been widely reported, the festival market had a rocky ride in 2012, exactly why has been much-debated but still to be defined. The UK Festival Conference is the opportunity for the festival industry  to put summer 2012 under the microscope, scrutinise what has happened thoroughly and learn some valuable lessons that will help to ensure the success of the 2013 festival season.

Steve Jenner, Festival Awards co-founder comments: “The phenomenal surge of public votes cast in this year’s awards proves that the public’s passion for Britain’s music festivals has never been greater. The shortlists they have produced are a very positive reflection of the scale, diversity, colour and creativity that makes the UK festival landscape so unique and special”. Over half a million public votes were cast.

Conference tickets from £109 and awards tickets from £40 are being handled by official ticketing partner Eventbrite, available to order now from: festivalawards.eventbrite.com and festivalconference.com
UK FESTIVAL CONFERENCE 2012 PANEL DISCUSSION PROGRAMMEHOW TO CAPTURE AND RETAIN AN AUDIENCE:
The black art of amassing an audience whose loyalties lie with your festival brand over your line-up.

Once upon a time, if you booked them, they would come. Nowadays, whether due to too many festivals, too few headliners or rocketing customer expectations, filling up your fields with festival-goers has become a much more complex and high-maintenance endeavour that seemingly requires finding and connecting with a niche audience at a telepathic level. Get it right and you can achieve the Holy Grail in building a festival brand that trades successfully on its own name before its line-up. Get it wrong and it could be game over. Or you could just spend millions on artists and hope that there’s enough of something for everyone. But really, what’s the trick?

Chair:
Henry Erskine Crumb (Event.ly)
Panelists:
Paul Glossop (V Festival),
Jessica Koravos (Eskimo),
James Scarlett (2000Trees),
Stephen O’Reilly (Mobile Roadie)
Brad Thompson (SBH Events)

ACCESSIBILITY:
ABLE2UK: Howard Thorpe, founder, addresses today’s key festival accessibility issues from booking to attending.

THE AIF PRESENTS:
How to maintain a positive experience for the artists, generate value and feel-good factor for your acts without a big budget.

Outside of the big festivals some ‘new’ artists are playing for free or minimal expenses – often on small stages to small audiences. It should be important to maintain their positivity and ‘feel good’ factor. We all need the skill to make value without big budgets. The Independents discuss how.

Panelists:
Rob Da Bank (Bestival, Radio 1, AIF)
Lee Denny (LeeFest)
Dutch Van Spall (Folk On The Water)
+ more TBC

THE GREEN ALLIANCE:
‘The Power behind Festivals’

Exclusively presenting the findings of this summer’s research – the Powerful Thinking project and officially launching an industry toolkit for promoting energy efficiency and renewable power solutions. Participating festivals include Camp Bestival. Reading, Latitude, Shambala, Sunrise and others; power companies (e.g. Agrekko, Firefly, MIDAS, Innovation), and DeMontford University as research partner, and early signs suggest the findings will be invaluable to promoters looking to innovate, reduce carbon, and even reduce fuel bills!

THE NEW BOTTOM LINE:
The festival economy is reformatting. How to make a lot of money from new and mutating revenue streams.

The festival economy is reformatting. The traditional, dependable revenue lines of ticketing, sponsorship and merchandise are themselves rapidly mutating. Lucrative new income streams like digital IP rights, cashless payment uplifts, mobile apps and online advertising are gaining prominence on the festival P&L sheet. The modern-day promoter needs to be a jack of many new high-tech trades. This panel looks at the new opportunities to make money in the festival market, and how to most effectively leverage your festival brand to capitalise on them.

Chair:
Chris McCormick (BluePeg)
Jez Patterson (Sportsvision)
Renaud Visage (EventBrite)
+ more TBC

WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES:
Bad weather dealt heavy blows this year. How to plan for the worst and limit the fall-out when it happens.

Bad weather – the enduring nemesis of the festival industry – has dealt some heavy blows this summer. To reduce its impact in future and limit damage when it does happen, this session looks at the various challenges faced in order to plan for the worst weather, manage on site emergencies and evacuation procedures; dealing with artists whose appearances are affected as well as the inevitable PR, legal and contractual issues arising post-event.

Panelists:
Zac Fox (Kilimanjaro Live),
Paul Twomey (Robertson Taylor),
Ben Challis (Glastonbury Festival),
Prof. Chris Kemp (Crowd & Safety Management expert)
Suzanne Bull (Attitude Is Everything)
Tim Roberts (Event Safety Shop)

THE FESTIVALS EMERGENCY BOARD MEETING: in association with IQ Magazine
Tough times, cancellations, financial losses, brutal weather. Where do we go from here?

After one of the most challenging summers ever for European festivals, where scores of events were cancelled and countless others ran up substantial financial losses, IQ editor Gordon Masson chairs an emergency board meeting with key players in the live music industry to discuss how – or if –the outdoors business can prevent a similar situation arising in 2013 and beyond.

Kilimanjaro Live managing director Stuart Galbraith, who had to cancel his UK edition of the Sonisphere festival this year but enjoyed varying success elsewhere in Europe, has confirmed his participation in the Emergency Board Meeting, while other board members will be announced closer to the conference date.

Chair:
Gordon Masson
Panelists:
Stuart Galbraith (Kilimanjaro Live) + more TBC

2012 Awards shortlists: Best Major Festival
BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend
Bestival
Creamfields
Download
GlobalGathering
Hard Rock Calling
Isle Of Wight Festival
Reading & Leeds
T in the Park
V Festival

Best Medium-Sized Festival
Beautiful Days
Bingley Music Live
Bloodstock Open Air Festival
Camp Bestival
Green Man
Kendal Calling
Latitude
RockNess
The Secret Garden Party
Wakestock

Best Small Festival
2000trees
Beat Herder
Cambridge Rock Festival
Festival No.6
Glasgowbury
Lakefest
Strawberry Fields Festival
Wilderness
Y Not Festival
Zoo Project

Best New Festival
BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend
Beacons Music & Arts Festival
Eastern Electrics Festival
Festival No.6
Gathering
Lakefest
No Direction Home Festival
Over the Moon Festival
Retro Trax
Xstatic Summer Festival

Best Dance Event
BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend
Beat Herder
Bestival
Creamfields
Glade Festival
GlobalGathering
Lovebox
Nozstock: The Hidden Valley Festival
Shakedown Festival
Zoo ProjectBest Metropolitan Festival
Camden Crawl
Dot To Dot Festival
Freeze Festival
Gathering
Live At Leeds
Liverpool Sound City
London Summer Jam
Orkney Folk Festival
Slam Dunk Festival
Tramlines

Best Line-Up (Decided by expert jury)
Beach Break Live
Bestival
Download
Festival No.6
LeeFest
Radio 1 Hackney Weekend
Truck
Wakestock
Wireless
Y Not

Best Family Festival
2000trees
Bearded Theory
Beautiful Days
Beverley Folk Festival
Blissfields
Cambridge Folk Festival
Camp Bestival
Lakefest
Latitude
Wilderness Festival

The Grass Roots Festival Award
2000trees
Beautiful Days
Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival
Bloodstock Open Air Festival
End of the Road Festival
Green Man
Greenbelt
Hop Farm Music Festival
Lakefest
Y Not Festival

Best Toilets
BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend
Beautiful Days
Bestival
Bloodstock Open Air Festival
Download
Latitude
Lodestar
Reading & Leeds
T in the Park
V FestivalBest Overseas Festival
Benicassim (Spain)
Ibiza Rocks (Spain)
Tomorrowland (Belgium)
Burning Man (USA)
Electric Picnic Music & Arts Festival (Ireland)
Optimus Alive (Portugal)
Outlook & Dimensions (Croatia)
Snowbombing (Austria)
Sziget Festival (Hungary)
Audioriver (Poland)

Headline Performance Of The Year
New Order at Festival No. 6
Stevie Wonder at Bestival
Mogwai at Green Man
Dizzee Rascal at Kendal Calling
Ed Sheeran at Wakestock
Slayer at I’ll Be Your Mirror/ATP
Jay-Z at Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend
Metallica at Download
The Stone Roses at T in the Park
The Cure at Reading & Leeds

Best Breakthrough Act
Emeli Sande
Lana Del Rey
Alt-J
Jake Bugg
Alabama Shakes
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
Django Django
Azealia Banks
Dry The River
Frank Ocean

Anthem Of The Summer
Florence & The Machine – ‘Shake It Up’
The Black Keys – ‘Lonely Boy’
Rihanna – ‘We Found Love’
Azealia Banks – ‘212’
The Vaccines – ‘Teenage Icon’
Arctic Monkeys – ‘R U Mine?’
Two Door Cinema Club – ‘Sleep Alone’
Alabama Shakes – ‘Hold On’
Nicki Minaj –  ‘Starships’
Django Django – ‘Default’

www.festivalawards.com/shortlists

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