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European Festival Awards 2016 – all the winners

The late booker of Sziget, Dan Panaitescu, was honoured during ceremony in Groningen as "a dear colleague, friend, support, hero, icon and dad"

By Rhian Jones on 12 Jan 2017

Sziget's 2016 edition where The Chemical Brothers, Muse and Rihanna headlined

The European Festival Awards took place yesterday (January 11) on the first night of Eurosonic in Groningen with Hungary’s Sziget honoured twice.

Artists voted Sziget their favourite festival over a shortlist including Latitude, End of the Road and Pukkelpop. As previously announced, late Sziget booker Dan Panaitescu was posthumously presented with the lifetime achievement accolade for his “vast contributions to the festival industry, and the admiration felt towards him from those within it.”

“Dan Panaitescu was a dear colleague, friend, support, hero, icon and dad, for so many of us in this international music family.”

Awards host Ben Challis said Panaitescu was “an individual whose personal vision and energy has propelled the entire festival market forward in a very creative and positive way.” Lollapalooza’s Fruzsina Szep gave a speech to honour Panaitescu, calling him “a dear colleague, friend, support, hero, icon and dad, for so many of us in this international music family.” Watch the full tribute video below.

Életműdíj / Lifetime achievement award Dan Panaitescu (1955-2016) Sziget, Telekom VOLT Fesztival, Balaton SoundMindent köszönünk, Dan! Nagyon hiányzol! /Thank you, Dan! We miss you…

Posted by Sziget Festival Official on Wednesday, 11 January 2017

OpenAir St.Gallen booker and Yourope’s Christof Huber was honoured with the gong for Excellence and Passion, while Coda agent Natasha Bent, who looks after bands including Chvrches and Let’s Eat Grandma, took home the IQ-sponsored Agent of the Year.

Primavera Sound won Best Line-Up for 2016’s bill that featured Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, PJ Harvey and Tame Impala. Belgium festival Rock Werchter, owned by Live Nation, was crowned the International Festival Forum’s Best Major Festival, while Swiss rock festival Paléo took Best Medium-Sized Festival.

Spain’s Mad Cool Festival in Madrid won Best New Festival after a successful inaugural event while Hamburg staple Reeperbahn was named Best Indoor Festival. Dua Lipa, booked by James Whitting at Coda, was Newcomer of the Year.

The Green Operations Award for efforts in sustainability was granted to British event Shambala Festival, while the YES Group Health & Safety Innovation Award went to Southside Festival, held in southern Germany. Belgium festival Pukkelpop, meanwhile, won the Brand Activation Award. 

The ceremony opened with a performance from industry band The Children of the Revolution featuring professionals including Szep, Huber, Greg Parmley (ILMC), Steve Jenner (EFA), Holger Jan Schmidt (GoGroup), Philipe Cornu (WePromote), Ivan Milivojev (Exit), Codruta Vulcu (ArtMania) and Michal Kascak (Pohoda).


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