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European Festival Awards 2017: The winners

Roskilde Festival, Sziget, MENT Ljubljana, ATC Live agent Alex Bruford and Lollapalooza Berlin festival director Fruzsina Szép were among the winners at the ninth European Festival Awards, which took place last night at Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen, Netherlands.

Hosted one again by IQ editor Gordon Masson and Glastonbury Festival/Yourope lawyer Ben Challis, the awards recognised excellence in 15 categories, including the new Take a Stand award, in association with Yourope’s Take a Stand initiative.

Hungary’s Sziget and Serbia’s Exit Festival took home the two big gongs – line-up of the year and best major festival, respectively – while while an emotional Szép was presented with the award for excellence and passion. Bruford won agent of the year, in association with IQ, and Paléo Festival Nyon founder Daniel Rossellat the award for lifetime achievement.

Hörstmann’s GoodLive, formerly Melt! Booking, was named best promoter, while Slovakia’s Pohoda was recognised for its environmental credentials, winning its first Festival Award for green operations. Slovenia’s MENT Ljubljana was recognised as best small festival and best indoor festival.

Performances on the night came from Dutch singer Naaz, Belgian Jeff Buckley-a-like Tamino and Finnish duo Alma.

A full list of winners is below:

Best New Festival
In association with CGA
Wacken Winter Nights

The Green Operations Award
In association with Go Group
Pohoda Festival

Line-Up of the Year
In association with Faceculture
Sziget Festival

Best Indoor Festival
MENT Ljubljana

Newcomer of the Year
In association with Eurosonic Noorderslag
Rag’n’Bone Man

Agent of the Year
In association with IQ
Alex Bruford (ATC Live)

Promoter of the Year

The Brand Activation Award
In association with Emac
The Miele Powerwash at Lowlands Festival

Best Small Festival
MENT Ljubljana

The Health and Safety Innovation Award
In association with Yes Group
Paléo Festival Nyon & Roskilde Festival

Best Medium-Sized Festival
In association with Eventbrite
Down the Rabbit Hole

The Take a Stand Award
In association with Take a Stand
Roskilde Festival

Best Major Festival
Exit Festival

The Award for Excellence & Passion
Fruzsina Szép

The Lifetime Achievement Award
Daniel Rossellat


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ESNS 2018: Groningen prepares for annual industry invasion

Barely had the festive parties started when agents began talking up some of the acts they will be showcasing at Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) in the Netherlands in mid-January.

Combining daytime panels and keynotes with a packed programme of evening gigs, ESNS will welcome Denmark as its focus nation for 2018, with a number of Danish acts rubbing shoulders with musicians from around Europe, vying for success in the European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP), which continues to go from strength to strength.

Last year’s big ETEP winners were British punk band Shame, who achieved a record number of 17 ETEP festival bookings throughout 2017, while the scheme as a whole secured a total of 424 festival slots, involving 164 acts from 24 countries.

Elsewhere, ESNS will kick off with the EBBA Awards, which recognise ten European acts who have been successful in developing their careers outside their own country. The current crop include Skott (SE), Off Bloom (DK), Blanche (BE), Alice Merton (DE), Alma (FI), Kristian Kostov (BG), Sigrid (NO), The Blaze (FR), Youngr (UK) and Salvador Sobral (PT).

More than 400 acts from 30 countries will showcase their talent during ESNS, in the hope of catching the attention of some of the hundreds of festival bookers who will be in Groningen for the 17– 20 January event, which also hosts the European Festival Awards on the opening night.

Among the European Festival Awards 2017 nominees are Sziget and Lowlands (both best major festival and line-up of the year), Pohoda (best medium-sized festival and promoter of the year), Sea Star and Labyrinth Open Croatia (best new festival), festival drug testing service the Loop (health and safety innovation award), Rolling Stone Weekender, MENT Ljubljana (both best indoor festival) and late Primary agent Dave Chumbley (award for excellence and passion).

A full shortlist is available from the European Festival Awards website.


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