AIF announces winners of the first ever Festival Congress Awards

The Bestival team

The Bestival team

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has  announced the winners of the first ever Festival Congress Awards at a sold-out ceremony in Cardiff’s Portland House. The ceremony recognised and celebrated the great variety of work that took place in the festival industry this year. Winners included Catfish & the Bottlemen for ‘Live Act of the Year’,  Showsec for ‘Friendliest Security Staff’,  Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip for ‘Artist for the Audience’ and The Arcadia Spider in the ‘Mind-Blowing Spectacle Award’ category. Dan Le Sac, said: “We are honoured to win this award. We’ve spent the last 8 years together planning shows because we love gigging, so to be recognised for that is truly wondrous! The cherry on the cake is that the award comes from the AIF – the independent festival scene is hugely vibrant in the UK and plays a massive part in keeping the music industry alive.”

Dan le Sac

Dan le Sac

AIF vice chair, John Rostron, said: “What a way to kick off the first ever Festival Congress Awards, with some terrific winners and plenty of good fun in the mix. The fact there are winners here who aren’t even a part of the AIF, yet have been nominated and voted for by our membership, demonstrates the great spirit of support for the sector, which runs throughout the AIF. Our festivals LOVE festivals, and there’s a lot of love for these worthy winners.” The awards were hosted by Ben Challis and featured an introduction by Huw Stephens (BBC Radio One) and Bethan Elfyn (BBC Radio Wales). There were also showcase performances from talented emerging Welsh music acts Baby Queens and Gabrielle Murphy, in connection with the AIF’s exciting partnership with the BBC’s Horizons scheme.

And those winners were:

The Outstanding Contribution Award – Rob da Bank

Supporter of Emerging Talent Award – 2000 Trees

New Festival on the Block – Fire in the Mountain

Silver Service Award – Goan Seafood Company

Unique Festival Site – Festival No.6

Live Act of the Year – Catfish & the Bottlemen

Artist for the Audience – Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip

Mind-Blowing Spectacle Award – The Arcadia Spider

Smart Marketing Campaign of the Year – Bestival Mirror Ball

Random Act of Kindness Award – End of the Road audience: Festival Wood

Culture & Tourism Award: Forward Thinking Local Authority – Dorset County Council

Friendliest Security Staff – Showsec

Festival Blogger of the Year – Shell Zenner

Emmet Brown Award – Shambala Festival: Fuel Efficient Technology

Festival Venue of the Year – End of the Road: The Garden Stage

Unsung Hero – James Goodall

Shambala collect their Greener Festival Award

Shambala collect their Greener Festival Award

A Greener Fesival also handed out its Greener Festival  awards to Shambala (Outstanding), Wood (Outstanding) and Nozstock (Commended) with our very own Helen Innes in charge of proceedings at a drinks reception sponsored by our good friends at Robertson Taylor WP Longreach.

An after party at Cardiff’s Glee Club followed the ceremony and was soundtracked by icons of the DJ world including Huw Stephens, Madame Electrifie, DJ Chris Tofu and Count Skylarkin. The awards ceremony took place on the first night of the AIF Festival Congress, a two-day gathering of those behind the success of festivals around the world as they met to network, learn and celebrate. The congress featured keynote speaker Jude Kelly and speeches from high-profile figures of the industry such as Martin Elbourne, Stuart Galbraith and Alison Wenham. For further details go to http://aiforg.com/initiatives/festival-congress

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