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European Festival Awards 2022 winners revealed

Roskilde took home three honours, while Mojo, Superbloom and X-ray agent Josh Javor also emerged triumphant from the Groningen ceremony

By James Hanley on 19 Jan 2023

Roskilde Festival


image © Jaap Kroon

Denmark’s Roskilde Festival, the Netherlands’ Mojo Concerts and Atlas Ukraine were among the big winners at last night’s European Festival Awards (EFA).

The in-person ceremony, held at De Oosterpoort in Groningen, the Netherlands as part of Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS), returned to celebrate the best of the 2022 season after a forced hiatus due to the pandemic.

Already announced as winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Roskilde also triumphed in two other categories at the EFA’s 12th edition – Best Major Festival and The Impossible without Youth Award.

In their acceptance speech, the team praised the festival’s army of volunteers (“We couldn’t do it without them”), along with the “best audience in the world”. “We are so proud and so honoured,” they added. “Thank you for seeing the ambition and the idea and the community behind this.”

Elsewhere, Atlas Festival & Music Saves UA received a standing ovation when picking up the Take A Stand Award, while Mojo collected Promoter of the Year.

“Two years of corona showed how difficult it is to organise the things we love”

Germany’s Superbloom was named Best New Festival. “Two years of corona showed how difficult it is to organise the things we love,” said Superbloom organiser Fruzsina Szép. “And to start a new brand, even more so.”

X-ray Touring’s Josh Javor dedicated his Agent of the Year gong to his mentor, “the one and only legend”, Steve Strange and recalled the times Strange took him to Eurosonic. “Because of him I didn’t know there were panels for three years because all we did was drink, watch bands and sleep,” he joked.

The Award for Excellence & Passion, meanwhile, went to festival veteran Holger Jan Schmidt. Dubbed a “A true servant for the cause”, Schmidt said: “I can only do something with passion. Burnout goes hand in hand with passion. I think we should all take a look at ourselves. How much can we do. How much passion can we invest?”

Festivals from more than 30 countries participated in the awards process, with 300,000 single votes cast by the public, resulting in 124 shortlisted nominees in 15 categories, not counting the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The full list of winners is as follows:

The Take a Stand Award 
Atlas Festival & Music Saves UA (Ukraine)

Best New Festival
Superbloom (Germany)

The Impossible without Youth Award
Roskilde Festival (Denmark)

Best Indoor Festival
Iceland Airwaves (Iceland)

Line-Up of the Year
Hellfest (France)

The Health & Safety Innovation Award
Watt en Schlick Fest (Germany)

Agent of the Year
Josh Javor (X-Ray Touring)

Best Small Festival
Roadburn (The Netherlands)

Newcomer of the Year
Fred Again (UK)

The Brand Activation Award
Wacken Open Air (Germany) & Krombacher

Best Medium-Sized Festival
Best Kept Secret (The Netherlands)

The Green Operations Award
Rock Werchter (Belgium)

Best Major Festival
Roskilde Festival (Denmark)

The Award for Excellence & Passion
Holger Jan Schmidt

Promoter of the Year
Mojo (The Netherlands)

The Lifetime Achievement Award
Roskilde Festival (Denmark)

 


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