Festivals Judged By ‘Mystery Shoppers’

This year’s UK festivals will be visited by a team of “mystery shoppers” that will judge them on criteria including quality of lineup, campsite facilities, security, communication and value.

About 100 journalists and experienced reviewers will cover as many events as possible and determine who wins the UK Festival Awards for best major, medium and small festivals, plus best metropolitan festival, best new festival, family festival, as well as best toilets.

These categories were previously decided by a fans’ vote. The organisers say the switch, which followed a consultation with representatives across the UK festival industry, will increase the accessibility of the UK Festival Awards for even more events.

The fans can still have their shout by voting in a new category called “the fans’ favourite.” They can also continue voting for headliner of the year, newcomer of the year and best overseas festival.

“We have worked hand-in-hand with some of the most experienced festival organisers in the country and hardened festival-goers to set the criteria by which these categories are judged,” said Festival Awards Ltd. managing director James Drury. “This means festivals are being considered on the key things that make up a good festival from both the fans’ and the industry’s perspective.”

This year’s UK Festival Awards and Festival Awards Conference will be at London’s Roundhouse Nov. 18.

The awards began in 2004 and popular demand from the industry led to the conference being added in 2007.