Solo Gets A Double Boost

Solo chief John Giddings left London’s Koko with two of the coveted U.K. Festival Awards, although he declined to comment on whether the double-whammy had upped the value of his company, which he has openly said is up for sale if the price is right.

That he would receive this year’s "Outstanding Contribution" award was announced a month ago, but the Isle Of Wight event he resurrected five years ago also collected "Best Festival."

Two weeks before the November awards bash, he told Pollstar he’s very happy with the personal award but would be even more pleased if his festival was voted the best.

For the last two years the award has gone to Scotland’s T In The Park, which was on this year’s shortlist but just failed to pull off the hat-trick.

Giddings is believed to be in negotiation to return all or part of his business to Live Nation, which he quit in January 2006, early in the new year.

"John, you are my friend and my agent. God bless you and God bless the Isle Of Wight Festival," said Iggy Pop via a recorded message from Los Angeles as Giddings picked up his second award.

On learning that his festival had been narrowly piped for the top prize, Glastonbury chief Michael Eavis immediately offered to make the presentation to Giddings, although the gong is traditionally handed out by Virtual Festivals editor Ross Purdie.

Eavis didn’t go home empty-handed, as Glastonbury’s new ticketing system aimed at beating the touts earned it the "Innovation Award."

Neither did T In The Park, as The Killers, one of this year’s headliners, picked up awards for best headline act and best rock act.

Faithless took the award for best dance act and best pop act went to McFly.

The twinned V Festivals, which also had The Killers headlining, picked up the award for best lineup. V’s Bacardi B-Live dance area also won "Best Party Area."

Making it a good night for the Isle Of Wight was Bestival, which scooped "Best Medium-Sized Festival" for the third year running.

Other winners at the November 6 ceremony, which saw prizes presented for more than 20 categories, included Latitude (best fan-friendly festival), Solfest (best family festival) and Blissfields (best small festival).

Best European Festival was Serbia’s Exit. It’s the only category not open to U.K. festivals and is organised by Virtual and Yourope, the European festivals’ organisation.