The awards ceremony dedicated to celebrate some of the best independent festivals around the globe took place this past Friday in the UK

congress4(Image Courtesy: The Festival Congress Facebook)

There are some gatherings in the world that need some serious acclaim when it comes to ascertaining the level of hard work that’s put into putting together a festival. The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has unveiled details of the first-ever Festival Congress Awards Ceremony in celebration of the diversity and creativity of the festival landscape.

congress3Glastonbury’s iconic Arcadia spider
(Image Courtesy: Glastonbury Facebook)

The ceremony recognised and celebrated the great variety of work that took place in the festival industry this year. It took place this past Friday, October 17, in Portland House, Cardiff. Hosted by Ben Challis and featuring an introduction by Huw Stephens (BBC Radio One) and Bethan Elfyn (BBC Radio Wales), this event was followed by an after party sound tracked by icons of the DJ world including Madame ElectrifieDJ Chris Tofu and Count Skylarkin.

congress2Bestival’s record breaking giant disco ball
(Image Courtesy:

The award categories acknowledge the huge variety of festival work, here are the winners:

Outstanding Contribution Award:
Rob da Bank

Supporter Of Emerging Talent Award
2000 Trees

New Festival On The Block
Fire in the Mountain

Silver Service Award
Goan Seafood Company

Unique Festival Site
Festival No.6

Live Act Of The Year
Catfish & the Bottlemen

Artist for the Audience
Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip

Mind-Blowing Spectacle Award
The Arcadia Spider

Smart Marketing Campaign Of The Year
Bestival Mirror Ball

Random Act Of Kindness Award
End of the Road audience

Culture & Tourism Award
Forward Thinking Local Authority, Dorset County Council

Friendliest Security Staff

Festival Blogger Of The Year
Shell Zenner

Emmet Brown Award
Shambala Festival

Festival Venue Of The Year
End of the Road

Unsung Hero
James Goodall 

The Infamous Paint FightOne of the golden moments from Bestival
(Image Courtesy:

Rob da Bank and his island festival Bestival were big winners on the night, as were Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip who played their last ever live show at Bestival last month.

The awards ceremony took place on the first night of the AIF Festival Congress, a two-day gathering of those behind the success of festivals around the world as they met to network, learn and celebrate.  The congress featured keynote speaker Jude Kelly and speeches from high-profile figures of the industry such as Martin Elbourne, Stuart Galbraith and Alison Wenham.


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