Eastern Europe Wins Big At European Festival Awards 2019

"This award belongs to my team"
Gideon Gottfried
– “This award belongs to my team”
Mikołaj Ziółkowski, founder and director of Alter Art, the promoter of Poland’s biggest festival Open’er, on stage with his team

As is tradition, the annual European Festival Awards kicked, off Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen, Holland, on Jan. 15.  Half of the trophies, if you exclude the lifetime achievement award, which had been announced prior to the ceremony, went to individuals and companies from Eastern Europe.
The 11th EFA edition was the first organized by European festival association Yourope,  after co-hosting it with the UK Festival Awards company in the past.
Reeperbahn Festival won the first award of the night, Best Indoor Festival. The German talent festival and music conference will celebrate its 15th anniversary, Sept. 16-19.
Next up was the Brand Activation Award, a category invented by Yourope’s European Marketing and Communications Group (EMAC). The award celebrates the most creative sponsorship idea of the previous festival season, and this year went to Open’er Festival Poland and Stranger Things. The Netflix show promoted its third season at the festival with cast members Finn Wolfhard and Caleb McLaughlin visiting Open’er 2019 for a Q&A session.
Lucy Dickins, head of WME
Gideon Gottfried
– Lucy Dickins, head of WME
Presenting her Agent of the Year award

Lucy Dickins, who joined WME to head to company’s UK music division, last year, was named Agent of the Year.

No Sleep Festival Serbia, the sixth event created by the makers of Exit, won Best New Festival. It marks the forth European Festival award for the Exit group. Its flagship event Exit won Best Major Festival in 2017.
Chris Kemp, for many years the head and soul of Yourope’s Event Safety Group (YES Group), presented Balaton Sound from Hungary with the Health & Safety Innovation Award.
It marked Kemp’s last Eurosonic as head of YES Group, as he will officially retire. A large group of colleagues and friends came on stage to thank him for his work. “We owe you a lot,” said Henrik Bondo Nielsen of Roskilde Festival, who ran YES Group alongside Kemp, in a short speech. “It has been fantastic to know you. We are going to miss you. Thank you very much for your journey with us.”
The most emotional moment of the night
Gideon Gottfried
– The most emotional moment of the night
Colleagues and friends, and indeed “family”, said goodbye to Chris Kemp, who’s retiring

Kemp, who was clearly taken aback, as he didn’t expect the surprise, said: “There’s one thing I’ll miss massively. This is my family. I may see them once a year, but they’re my friends. These are people you can trust. People, who are making sure people can feel safe at events. I love you all. Thank you.”
Ide Koffeman, CEO of Mojo Concerts, last year’s winner in the category Promoter of the Year, announced this year’s winner, which turned out to be Wepromote from Switzerland, who had a stellar year 2019, including a sold out stadium show by Rammstein. 
“Picking the right bill can make or break a festival,” said the night’s host Claire O’Neill  (A Greener Festival) alongside Gordon Masson (IQ Magazine), when presenting the nominees for Line-up of the Year. The trophy went to Glastonbury Festival in the end, which featured The Killers, The Cure, Stormzy, Kylie Minogue, Janet Jackson and many more on the bill in 2019.
Chris Tofu, who’s been creating and hosting Glasto’s famous Shangri-La venue for 25 years now, picked up the award. 
Billie Eilish won the Newcomer of the Year award, but wasn’t on site to pick it up, neither was anyone from her team.
Bobby Oroza
Gideon Gottfried
– Bobby Oroza
One of the evening’s performers

Yourope’s Take A Stand campaign, which encourages social cohesion in a divided world, also presented an award at the EFAs. This year’s Take A Stand award went to German festival Das Fest, one of more than 100 festivals, live companies and associations that have joined the campaign since it launched in March 2017.
Other winners of the night included Electric Castle from Romania (Best Medium Sized Festival), OpenAir St.Gallen (The Green Operations Award), Jazz in the Park from Romania (Best Small Festival), and Codruta Vulcu from Romania (Award for Excellence and Passion),  who said: “This award belongs to the entire Romanian music industry,” in a time when the country is going through massive political turmoil.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen, founders of Wacken Open Air, Germany.
On stage to present the award was Doro, the Queen of Metal, who has played the Holy Ground, as Wacken is known to its disciples,  more than 20 times in the festival’s 30-year history. The singer told the audience how she first met the Wacken founders: “I couldn’t find the village, we only saw farmland and cowbells. So I ran towards a farmer in my high heels, asking him where Wacken was.”
The farmer guided Doro and her band’s double-decker tour bus to the festival site on his tractor. “It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Only 2,000 people, but a big stage, big PA. A couple of years later it was already 30,000.”
Doro presented Holger Hübner with the lifetime achievement award
Gideon Gottfried
– Doro presented Holger Hübner with the lifetime achievement award
The other Wacken founder, Thomas Jensen, wasn’t on site

Hübner picked up the award, commenting that is was better to win a lifetime achievement award at a relatively young age of 53 than to never win it. He thanked his family “for putting up with our crazy ideas for the past 30 years,” and also thanked Wacken Open Air’s new financial backers Superstruct for investing in the next era of Wacken.
To round out the ceremony, a round of pink champagne was handed out to the audience, in honour of Pinkpop festival, which celebrates it 50th anniversary this year.
Live performances came from Bobby Oroza (Finland) and Maris Bear (Switzerland).
Full shortlist with all winners below:
The Brand Activation Award
Presented by: EMAC
Lowlands (The Netherlands) & Rabobank (Brasserie 2050)
Open’er Festival (Poland) & Netflix (Stranger Things)
Øya Festivalen (Norway) & Fortum (The Green Rider)
Sziget Festival (Hungary) & IBIS (IBIS Music)
Untold (Romania) & KFC (Haunted Camping)
We Love Green (France) & Back Market (Back Market x We Love Green Circular)
The Take a Stand Award
Presented by: Take a Stand
Awake (Romania)
Das Fest (Germany)
Festival Svobody (Czech Republic)
Orange Blossom Special (Germany)
Pol’and’Rock (Poland)
The Green Operations Award
Presented by: Go Group
Electric Castle Festival (Romania)
OpenAir St.Gallen (Switzerland)
Øya Festivalen (Norway)
PortAmérica (Spain)
Roskilde Festival (Denmark)
We Love Green (France)
The Health & Safety Innovation Award
Presented by: YES Group
Balaton Sound (Hungary)
Happiness Festival (Germany)
Pohoda Festival (Slovakia)
Wat en Schlick Festival (Germany)
Promoter of the Year
Alter Art (Poland)
Festival Republic (United Kingdom)
FKP Scorpio (Germany)
Goodlive (Germany)
MCT Berlin (Germany)
Pohoda Festival (Slovakia)
Primavera Sound (Spain)
Ruisrock (Finland)
Wacken / ICS (Germany)
Wepromote (Switzerland)
Agent of the Year
Presented by: IQ Magazine
Alex Bruford (ATC Live)
Angus Baskerville (13 Artists)
Ian Huffam (X-Ray Touring)
Kiki Ressler (KKT)
Lucy Dickins (WME)
Maria May (CAA)
Mike Malak (Paradigm)
Natasha Bent (Paradigm)
Paul Wilson (CAA)
Rob Challice (Paradigm)
The Award for Excellence and Passion
Alex Hardee
Barrie Marshall
Ben Challis
Codruta Vulcu
Daniel Fontana
Eric van Eerdenburg
Folkert Koopmans
Holger Jan Schmidt
Kim Bloem
Mikolaj Ziolkowski
Best Indoor Festival
Presented by: eps
Blues in Hell (Norway)
FOCUS Wales (Wales, UK)
Hamburg Metal Dayz (Germany)
Let it Roll Winter (Czech Republic)
MENT Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Mithra Jazz à Liège (Belgium)
Prognosis Festival (The Netherlands)
Reeperbahn Festival (Germany)
Sudwave – Festival & Convention (Italy)
Taksirat Festival (Macedonia)
Newcomer of the Year
Presented by: Eurosonic Noorderslag
Billie Eilish (US)
Black Midi (UK)
Fontaines D.C. (IRL)
Idles (UK)
Jessie Reyez (CA)
Lizzo (US)
Rosalía (ESP)
Sam Fender (UK)
Sea Girls (UK)
Slowthai (UK)
Line-Up of the Year
Glastonbury (United Kingdom)
Lollapalooza Berlin (Germany)
Lowlands (The Netherlands)
Open’er Festival (Poland)
Pohoda Festival (Slovakia)
Primavera Sound (Spain)
Pukkelpop (The Netherlands)
Rock Werchter (Belgium)
Sziget Festival (Hungary)
Wacken (Germany)
Best New Festival
Afronation (Portugal)
FEST Festival (Poland)
Jika Jika (Northern Ireland)
Mystic Festival (Poland)
No Sleep Festival (Serbia)
REVOLT (Germany)
Best Small Festival
Arsenal Fest (Serbia)
Jazz in the Park (Romania)
Leffingeleuren (Belgium)
Maifeld Derby (Germany)
No Sleep Festival (Serbia)
Roadburn Festival (The Netherlands)
SHARPE Festival (Slovakia)
Szene Openair (Austria)
Tauron Nowa Muzyka Katowice (Poland)
Wacken Winter Nights (Germany)
Best Medium-Sized Festival
Presented by: Universe
Balaton Sound (Hungary)
Down The Rabbit Hole (The Netherlands)
Electric Castle (Romania)
Let it Roll (Czech Republic)
Melt Festival (Germany)
OFF Festival Katowice (Poland)
Orange Warsaw Festival (Poland)
Pohoda Festival (Slovakia)
Sea Dance Festival (Montenegro)
We Love Green (France)
Best Major Festival
Lowlands (The Netherlands)
Exit Festival (Serbia)
FM4 Frequency (Austria)
Lollapalooza Berlin (Germany)
Nova Rock Festival (Austria)
Open’er Festival (Poland)
Pukkelpop (Belgium)
Rock Werchter (Belgium)
Sziget Festival (Hungary)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen, founders of Wacken Open Air, Germany