UK Festival Awards: And The Winners Are

For the 12th time UK festivals (and one overseas festival) were honored at the UK Festival Awards, at London’s Roundhouse Nov. 26, featuring 23 different awards categories. 

Photo: Gideon Gottfried
Glastonbury wins best use of technology. 

Host of the ceremony was BBC Radio 6 moderator and frontman of Fun Lovin’ Criminals Huey Morgan, who led the audience through the evening in a very cynical fashion.

Morgan was making fun of virtually every festival on the list. This caused veteran promoter John Giddings to demand that Huey get out of the obligatory winner’s shot when Giddings’ Isle of Wight von the award for best family festival.

But that was really all the controversy the ceremony had to offer. The rest of the evening saw Morgan plough through all the categories in order to get the people to the after-party in Camden’s Barfly as soon as possible.

The best small, medium-sized and major festival awards went to Number 6, Y Not and Bestival, respectively. Wild Life was selected as best new festival, while Liverpool International Music Festival was considered best festival for emerging talent. Liverpool also scored best metropolitan festival for its Sound City Event.

Latitude was said to have put on the best lineup of the year, welcoming among many others Alt-JCaribouPortishead and James Blake to Suffolk in 2015. Glastonbury was rewarded for best use of new technology for The Spider, a permanent Arcadia Spectacular installation on the festival site, while Creamfields won in the best dance event category.

Annie Mac Presents: Lost & Found was named best overseas festival, and Beautiful Days took home the grass roots festival award.

CAA won agency of the year, Lost Ventures went home as promoter of the year. Mark Ronson‘s “Uptown Funk” was selected as anthem of the summer, while Fleetwood Mac at Isle of Wight was said to have put on the year’s headline performance. Peter Gabriel was honored for his outstanding contribution to festivals. 

The extra-festival activity award went to The Big Festival for The Wheat Project while The Breakfast Club won concession of the year. While jury and audience attested best hospitality to Wilderness festival, while Kendal Calling was acknowledged to have the best toilets. The brand activation award went to Virgin Trains, while Erotica Britannia was selected as best non-music festival.

The entire day before the actual award ceremony was dedicated to the current hot topics of the trade. From morning until evening, industry experts discussed the pros and cons of cashless, CDM regulations, the general festival overkill, a lack of headliners, the state of welfare at festivals and sustainable strategies.