AIF announces winners of the 2016 Festival Congress Awards 

02 Nov 2016

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has announced the winners of the 2016 Festival Congress Awards at a packed out ceremony at DEPOT in Cardiff. Hosted by Ben Challis (Glastonbury Festival),the ceremony took place on the evening of the first day of Festival Congress (Tuesday 1st November). Winners included Bluedot (New Festival on the block), End of the Road Festival (Best Smart Marketing), Brian Eno’s light Installation at Jodrell Bank (Mind Blowing Spectacle), Spring King (Live act of the year) and Deer Shed Festival’s Film Production Big Top (Unique Festival Arena). In addition, the Multi Agency Safety Testing (MAST) drugs testing piloted at Secret Garden Party and Kendal Calling this year won the newly introduced ‘Act of Independence’ award, introduced to highlight a moment in the festival season that embodied the spirit of independence.   Nominations were put forward and then voted for by the AIF’s 60 member festivals. The winners are as follows: New festival on the block (no more than three editions)

  • Bluedot

Unique festival arena

  • Deer Shed Festival¹s Film Production Big Top

Live act of the year

  • Spring King

Mind blowing spectacle

  • Brian Eno¹s light Installation at Bluedot, Jodrell Bank.

 Best smart marketing campaign of the year

  • End of the Road¹s lineup announcement video

Festival journalist of the year

  • David Hillier (Freelancer for The Guardian, Vice etc..)

Act of Independence. 

  • MAST drugs testing piloted at UK festivals

Festival caterer most likely to end up on Instagram. 

  • The Cheese Truck

The Backstage Award. 

  • Artist Liaison at Blissfields

Unsung hero

  • Penny Mellor- Health, safety and welfare expert at festivals.

Following the ceremony, congress delegates enjoyed a festival-themed party, with décor with House of Bestival, street food catering and DJ sets from AIF members The Head Gardener (Secret Garden Party), Chris Tofu (Continental Drifts) and a ‘Purple Rave’ tribute to Prince from Tayo3000.  Paul Reed, General Manager of the AIF said: “This was the third Festival Congress Awards and a fantastic celebration of the independent festival sector. Our members had some difficult decisions to make with such a strong shortlist and we’re delighted to acknowledge the creativity and hard work that goes into producing the best festival festivals in the world, bar none”.     This year The Festival Congress conference took place at Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre and featured over fifty guest speakers. For info go to Festival Congress is supported by the Major Events Unit of the Welsh Government. The TicketSellers are headline sponsor and exclusive ticketing partner. Playpass are the exclusive RFID partner, BIMM are the lead educational partner and Help Musicians UK are the lead charity partner.