NETHERLANDS: On January 14 2015 the annual European Festival Awards will see one of the UK’s most distinguished event promoters receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
As the driving force behind Latitude, Reading & Leeds, and overseas events including Electric Picnic, Benicassim, Hove and Berlin Festival, Benn’s vast experience of staging the best in entertainment events also made him instrumental in turning around the fortunes of Glastonbury Festival as its licensee for a decade.
In addition, Benn has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of Wembley Stadium since May 2011, sits as a representative on the Concert Promoters Association (CPA), was influential in re-writing the Guide to Health and Safety at Outdoor Events (‘the Pop Code’) and makes regular presentations to the Emergency Planning College, the police and other bodies.
Benn is one of only two Britons to have been honoured with this award, the other being Michael Eavis (in 2011). Other past recipients include Jan Smeets (Netherlands), Leif Skov (Denmark), Herman Schueremans (Belgium) and Marek Lieberberg (Germany).
Benn commented: “I’m very flattered and honoured to receive this prestigious award and join an incredible line-up of previous winners. I work with the best in the business and couldn’t do what I do without a really strong team around me; my thanks go to all those individuals past and present who’ve helped to make our events what they are. I’m hugely passionate about our industry and every day continues to excite me as we push the boundaries of the festival experience and create lifelong memories for music fans and audiences.”
The European Festival Awards, presented in association with Yourope and Eurosonic Noorderslag, will return in the New Year to celebrate the successes of Europe’s festival industry. The gala award show will open Eurosonic Noorderslag on January 14 2015 at De Oosterpoort in Groningen, The Netherlands.
Throughout the evening accolades spanning from ‘Best Major Festival’, ‘Artists’ Favourite Festival’, ‘Promoter Of The Year’ to ‘Anthem Of The Summer’ will be handed out to the greats of the festival world.
Decided by a combination of public vote and industry juries, the European Festival Awards are the only pan-European body solely dedicated to recognising the contributions and achievements of the event organisers and performing artists that generate billions of Euros for local economies and brighten up the summer for tens of millions of festival-goers each year.
This year’s European Festival Awards featured over 350 festivals from 35 different countries, with over 1.2 million votes cast.