Last night, Europe’s festival scene – along with its many fans around the world – sat on the edge of their seats to see whether they will receive any of the accolades awarded at the European Festival Awards. The ceremony was, as usual, exciting, with many great artists taking the scene. This year, the organizers handed out 15 awards, some of them based on the vote of a committee, others relying entirely on votes from the public. “Take A Stand Award” was given out for the first time this year, based on a Yourope initiative meant to encourage social cohesion.
Best New Festival Award
This year’s Best New Festival Award went to Wacken Winter Nights, a newcomer in Wacken, Germany, about 50km North of Hamburg. The three-day event takes place in February, and has rock, metal, and arts to offer to its visitors. Its 2018 edition takes place between 23 and 25 February, and has bands like Comes Vagantes, Elvenking, Ingrimm, Orphaned Land, and The Moon and The Nightspirit in its lineup.
Other events on the shortlist: Fire Is Gold, Labyrinth Open Croatia, Lollypop, Neversea, Sea Star Festival, Shutdown Festival, Tsunami Xixón, VIBE Festival, Waking Life
Lineup of the Year
The Lineup of the Year award was taken home by Hungary’s Sziget Festival – we won’t go into details, as we already know everything we need to about this one.
Other events on the shortlist: Glastonbury Festival, Lollapalooza Berlin, Lowlands Festival, Melt! Festival, NOS Alive, OpenAir St.Gallen, Pohoda Festival, Rock Werchter, Roskilde Festival
Best Major Festival
EXIT Festival in Serbia won the Best Major Festival award this year. It has been around since 2000, and has gathered quite a few awards ever since, including the Best Major Festival in 2014, and once again this year. Last year, its lineup included artists like The Killers, Years & Years, Liam Gallagher, Rag’n’Bone Man, Lost Frequencies, and many others.
Other shortlisted events: Colours of Ostrava, Hellfest, Lowlands Festival, Parookaville, Summer Breeze Open Air, Sziget Festival, Tomorrowland, Untold, Wacken Open Air
Best Medium-Sized Festival
The Netherlands’ Down The Rabbit Hole took home the Best Medium-Sized Festival this year. The three-day event in Groene Heuvels has been held each June since 2014, and has seen artists like Damon Albarn, Foals, Iggy Pop, PJ Harvey, and others take its stages.
Other shortlisted events: Balaton Sound, Electric Castle, M’era Luna, Melt! Festival, Off Festival Katowice, Pohoda Festival, Reeperbahn Festival, Sea Dance Festival, Splash! Festival
Best Indoor Festival & Best Small Festival
MENT Ljubljana took home two awards at this year’s ceremony: it won both the Best Indoor Festival and the Best Small Festival awards. MENT is around since 2015, and has already made a name for itself thanks to its diverse lineup and conference sessions, visited by many music industry stakeholders, from promoters to managers. Each year, the event launches a “best-of” album with music from Slovenian performers called “Slovenian moMENT 20XX”.
Other events on the short lists:
- Best Indoor Festival: Altitude Comedy Festival, Lisboa Dance Festival, Lokerse Feesten, Metal Hammer Paradise, Mucho Flow, OOAM Festival, OUT.FEST, Rolling Stone Weekender, WOS Festival
- Best Small Festival: Cactus Festival, Full Metal Cruise V, Full Metal Mountain, Happiness Festival, Metal Hammer Paradise, Mucho Flow, OOAM Festival, R:EVOL:UTION Festival, Wacken Winter Nights
Newcomer of the Year
The Newcomer of the Year award went to Rory Charles Graham, better known by his stage name Rag’n’Bone Man, an English singer and songwriter who blasted into the global music scene with his single “Human” this year. Unfortunately for the audience, he wasn’t there to receive his award personally.
Other names on the shortlist: Alma, Cigarettes After Sex, Her, Idles, Jain, Parcels, Sampha, Shame, Sigrid
- Alex Bruford of ATC Live won “Agent of the Year”
- Goodlive Berlin won “Promoted of the Year”
- Lowlands’ “Miele Powerwash” won the “Brand Activation Award”
- Roskilde Festival and Paléo Festival took home the “Health and Safety Innovation Award”
- Fruzsina Szép, festival director at Lollapalooza Berlin received the “Award for Excellence and Passion”
- Daniel Rossellat, founder of Paléo Festival, received the “Lifetime Achievement Award”
- Pohoda Festival won the “Green Operation Award” for its clean and sustainable operations
- Roskilde Festival won the “Take A Stand Award”