The eighth annual European Festival Awards was held on Wednesday January 11, inviting an eclectic array of the continent’s festival organisers and suppliers to celebrate the industry’s collective efforts and achievements over the past year.
Taking place as part of Eurosonic Noorderslag’s opening night in Groningen, The Netherlands, the illustrious awards ceremony also comprised a gala dinner and select showcase performances from rising stars James TW and Roosevelt.
The winners of the event’s sixteen accolades were decided via a combination of public votes and industry juries assembled by the organisers. Run in cooperation between Yourope, Festival Awards Ltd, and Eurosonic Noorderslag, the Awards are a chance for European festival promoters to come together, network, and reflect upon the events of the past year.
The Awards aim to recognise the achievements of festivals large and small, and receives entries from hundreds of festivals across dozens of nations. This year the event added The Brand Activation Award, and also acknowledges festivals who have made notable contributions to the realms of sustainability and health & safety, amongst others. Perhaps the most prestigious honour of the evening, The Lifetime Achievement Award, was granted posthumously to Daniel Panaitescu, the legendary international booking manager of Sziget Festival.
The winners of the European Festival Awards 2016 are as follows…
Best Small Festival – Snowbombing (Austria)
Best Line-Up – Primavera Sound (Spain)
The Brand Activation Award – UCLL AND ENECO for the Smart Energy Grid at Pukkelpop (Sweden)
Agent of the Year – Natasha Bent
Best Indoor Festival – Reeperbahn Festival (Germany)
Best New Festival – Mad Cool Festival (Spain)
Artists’ Favourite Festival – Sziget Festival (Hungary)
The YES Group Health & Safety Innovation Award – Southside Festival (Germany)
Best Medium-Sized Festival – Paleo Festival Nyon (Switzerland)
The Green Operations Award – Shambala Festival (UK)
Headliner of the Year – Muse
Newcomer of the Year – Dua Lipa
Promoter of the Year – Alter Art Poland (Poland)
Best Major Festival – Rock Werchter (Belgium)
Award for Excellence and Passion – Christof Huber
Lifetime Achievement Award – Daniel Panaitescu [Posthumous]