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What you need to know about the UK Festival Awards.

Andy Robertson

For anyone working in the Music Festival Industry the annual UK Festival Awards are probably the most prestigious accolade obtainable for a wide variety of categories. The awards usually take place in December each year however with the current pandemic it is not clear if the UK Festival Awards will even take place in 2020. 


The UK Festival Awards website still states that the 17th annual UK Festival Awards will take place on December 3rd 2020 with venue TBC. There is no update on the current status however it is probably safe to assume that the 17th Awards will take place in 2021 not 2020.

The Awards were first established in 2004, produced by Virtual Festivals.com. It is not totally clear what happened in the timeline but somewhere between 2008 and 2014 the UK Festival Awards (as we know them today) were re-launched by Festival Awards Ltd. In 2019 there were 450 submissions made and 55,000 votes cast for 21 categories.

Broadly speaking anyone involved in the UK festival Industry can nominate themselves for the appropriate category and awards are made using a combination of online public votes and a panel of 16 judges from a wide variety of functions within the industry. During the judging process the entrants are whittled down to a shortlist with the winners announced at their annual awards ceremony which acknowledge the achievements of organisers and suppliers in the fields of production, innovation, emerging talent, marketing, catering and more.

The 21 categories are: 

  • The Innovation Award
  • Concession of the Year
  • The Women in Festivals Award
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • Best Festival Production
  • Agency of the Year
  • The Brand Activation Award
  • Line-Up of the Year
  • Best Non-Music Festival
  • Best Festival for Emerging Talent
  • Promoter of the Year
  • Best Family Festival
  • The UK Greener Festival Award
  • The Grassroots Festival Award
  • Best Overseas Festival
  • Best New Festival
  • Best Metropolitan Festival
  • Best Small Festival
  • Best Medium-Sized Festival
  • Best Major Festival
  • The Outstanding Contribution to Festivals Award 

If you can find a relevant category anyone working in the music festival industry should certainly consider making an entry. Even to get shortlisted would be a major achievement and the PR value cannot be overstated, to be a winner is priceless publicity. The awards ceremony would be worth attending too as it presents an opportunity to network and meet the peers in your industry. It is likely that the awards will return in 2021 so anyone interested should certainly consider making an entry but check their scheduling as the submission period can be quite short, and usually takes place around November.

Using an events management software solution like FestivalPro can help make the planning and running of music festivals more efficient with built in functionality to manage every aspect of the event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The FestivalPro platform is easy to use and has all the features a music festival organiser needs to plan and control elements that will make the event a great success across all categories that are included in the UK Festival Awards.   

Andy Robertson
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