Festival Awards Ltd, the independent company that owns and runs the UK Festival Conference & Awards, has appointed former Audience magazine News Editor, James Drury, to the newly created post of Managing Director.
James will be responsible for overseeing the development of the Festival Awards brand in the UK and Europe as well as co-ordinating the launch of the brand in other key global territories.
James’ three-and-a-half years as News Editor of the leading international live music magazine means he is ideally placed to develop the Festival Awards brand in-line with the world’s festival industry.
Originally launched in 2004 by Virtual Festivals.com founder Steve Jenner, the UK Festival Awards have grown exponentially due to industry demand, with the simple aim of providing a platform through which the UK and global festival industries could be united to celebrate and highlight their achievements as well as sharing ideas and confronting market challenges.
In 2008, to ensure the Awards’ continued independence and growth, as well as facilitate the roll-out of the Festival Awards brand globally, the executive board was fortified by a consortium led by Chris McCormick (MD of Size12shoe), George Smart and Dan Howson (joint MDs of Ames Enri).
This expanded team has so far been responsible for the addition of the UK Festival Conference (taking place in the daytime before the Awards show) plus the development of Festival Awards Europe in co-operation with Yourope (The European Festival Association) – which takes place on the opening night of the Eurosonic Noorderslag Festival and Conference in January.
In only two years, the hugely successful UK Festival Conference has established itself as an essential forum for the festival industry to gather under one roof. The marketplace is currently undergoing a rapid maturation through increased collaboration and sharing of ideas, and the Festival Awards and Conference serve as both a catalyst and hub in this process.
Last year’s Conference shone a light on the increasing threat of crime at festivals with some of the sessions’ conclusions being reported globally by the BBC and others.
Festival Awards Managing Director James Drury said: “I’m excited about taking Festival Awards Ltd forward, and working closely with the industry to ensure the Conference content is pertinent and useful, and the Awards shows are a worthy celebration of the immense effort which goes into producing so many superb festivals.”