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European Festival Awards 2019: All the winners

Glastonbury Festival, Open’er, Electric Castle, No Sleep Festival and WME’s Lucy Dickins were among those to pick up prizes at the 2019 European Festival Awards, held this evening at Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) in Groningen, the Netherlands.

Hosted by IQ’s Gordon Masson and A Greener Festival’s Claire O’Neill, the award ceremony saw festivals recognised across 15 categories, including best major, medium and small festivals and line-up of the year, as well as awards for green efforts, health and safety innovation and brand activations.

Open’er Festival, organised by independent Polish promoter Alter Art, was the evening’s biggest winner, taking home the prizes for best major festival and best brand activation for its collaboration with Netflix’s Stranger Things.

Representatives from Romania enjoyed a successful evening, with Romanian festivals Electric Castle and Jazz in the Park taking the best medium-sized festival and best small festival gongs respectively, and Codruta Vulcu, the founder of 2018’s best small festival, ARTmania, winning the award for excellence and passion.

Open’er Festival, organised by independent Polish promoter Alter Art, was the evening’s biggest winner

German events also put in a good showing, with Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival winning best indoor event and Das Fest, which takes place in the German city of Karlsruhe, receiving the Take a Stand award for its commitment to social activism.

Other major prizes went to the UK’s Glastonbury Festival, last year headlined by Stormzy, the Killers and the Cure, for line-up of the year, No Sleep Festival in Serbia for best new festival and to WME’s Lucy Dickins for agent of the year.

As previously announced, Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen, the co-founders of Wacken Open Air – the winner of best major festival at the 2018 awards – received the lifetime achievement gong at this year’s ceremony.

A full list of European Festival Awards 2019 winners can be found below:

Best major festival
Open’er Festival (Poland)

Best medium-sized festival
Electric Castle (Romania)

Best small festival
Jazz in the Park (Romania)

Best indoor festival
Reeperbahn Festival (Germany)

Best new festival
No Sleep Festival (Serbia)

Line-up of the year
Glastonbury (United Kingdom)

Newcomer of the year
Billie Eilish (US)

The lifetime achievement award
Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen (Wacken Open Air)

The green operations award
OpenAir St Gallen (Switzerland)

The health and safety innovation award
Balaton Sound (Hungary)

The brand activation award
Open’er Festival (Poland) & Netflix’s Stranger Things

The Take a Stand award
Das Fest (Germany)

The award for excellence and passion
Codruta Vulcu

Promoter of the year
Wepromote (Switzerland)

Agent of the year
Lucy Dickins (WME)

 


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W:O:A founders to receive EFA lifetime achievement gong

Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen, co-founders of German metal festival Wacken Open Air, will receive the lifetime achievement award at the 11th European Festival Awards (EFAs) on 15 January 2020.

The other nominees for the awards, which take place during Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen, Netherlands, were revealed last week, with over 350,000 votes cast across the 14 other categories.

Jensen, the bassist in a band called Skyline, and Hübner, who was working as a DJ, co-founded Wacken Open Air in 1990.

Nearly 30 years on, the festival is arguably the world’s most important metal/hard rock event – Wacken 2020 sold all 75,000 tickets in the space of a few hours – and their company, ICS, also includes a roster of other hard rock festivals, a touring division, a booking agency (Seaside Touring), ticketing platform Metaltix and the Wacken Foundation, a nonprofit which provides tour support and other assistance to young bands.

Last year’s EFA lifetime achievement award was collected by Eurosonic founder Peter Smidt, with Wacken picking up best major festival and Roskilde Festival being awarded line-up of the year.

Read IQ’s special 30th-anniversary feature on Wacken Open Air here.

 


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European Festival Awards unveils 2019 shortlist

The nominees for the 11th edition of the European Festival Awards have been revealed, with the ceremony due to take place on 15 January at Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) in the Netherlands.

Over 350,000 votes have been cast for the 2019 awards across the main public categories, which include best major, medium and small festivals, as well as the best new and best indoor events.

The awards will present accolades across 15 categories in total, with the shortlists available for all but one category – the lifetime achievement award – which last year went to ESNS co-founder Peter Smidt.

The nominees for the 11th edition of the European Festival Awards have been revealed

The shortlists can be viewed here across categories including the year’s best line-up, promoter, agent, new artist and brand activation, as well as awards for social activism, excellence and passion, and green operations.

Last year’s awards saw Wacken Open Air and Roskilde Festival pick up the biggest prizes of the night – best major festival and best line-up respectively. The Netherlands’ Mojo (Pinkpop, North Sea Jazz, Down the Rabbit Hole, Lowlands) won best promoter, with CAA’s Mike Greek earning the agent of the year award.

Tickets for the 2019 awards ceremony at De Oosterpoort, Groningen, are available here, with tribune tickets priced at €30. Premium tickets, which include access to the cocktail hour, a three-course dinner, a seat at the awards show and access to the after party, cost €100.

See all the winners from last year’s European Festival Awards here.

European Festival Awards 2018: The winners


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European Festival Awards 2018: The winners

Pohoda, Wacken Open Air, NorthSide, Mojo Concerts and CAA’s Mike Greek were among the winners at last night’s tenth-anniversary European Festival Awards 2018, held at Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen.

Hosted for the final time by IQ editor Gordon Masson and Glastonbury Festival/Yourope lawyer Ben Challis, the awards once again recognised excellence in 15 categories, with the biggest prizes of the night – best major festival and line-up of the year – going to Judas Priest-headlined Wacken Open Air and Roskilde Festival, respectively.

Roskilde was a double winner, also taking home the health and safety award for the second year running, with Pohoda Festival winning the Take a Stand Award and its festival director, Michal Kascak, the prize for excellence and passion.

The Netherlands’ Mojo (Pinkpop, North Sea Jazz, Down the Rabbit Hole) won best promoter, while Denmark’s NorthSide was recognised as the best medium-sized festival and Romania’s ARTmania the best small event.

Pohoda, Wacken Open Air, NorthSide, Mojo Concerts and CAA’s Mike Greek were among the winners

As previously announced, Eurosonic Noorderslag co-founder and outgoing creative director Peter Smidt took home the lifetime achievement award.

Performances on the night came from Grant and Bishop Briggs, with the main artist’s award, for best newcomer, being awarded to Greta Van Fleet.

A full list of winners is below.

Best New Festival
Rolling Stone Park

The Health & Safety Innovation Award
Roskilde Festival

Agent of the Year
Mike Greek, CAA

Best Small Festival
ARTmania Festival

The Green Operations Award
DGTL Amsterdam

Promoter of the Year
Mojo Concerts

Line-up of the Year
Roskilde Festival

Best Indoor Festival
WOS Festival

The Take a Stand Award
Pohoda Festival

The Brand Activation Award
Fortum at Ruisrock

Newcomer of the Year
Greta van Fleet

Best Medium-Sized Festival
NorthSide Festival

The Award for Excellence & Passion
Michal Kascak, Pohoda Festival

Best Major Festival
Wacken Open Air

The Lifetime Achievement Award
Peter Smidt

 


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One week countdown for ESNS 2019 begins

Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS), the largest showcase of promising European music talent, kicks off next Wednesday in Groningen, the Netherlands. This year’s festival promises to host 350 acts and more than 4,000 conference delegates, including festival bookers, expert panellists and other important industry figures.

ESNS serves as a key exchange for emerging European artists, combining a packed daytime conference schedule with an equally jammed evening live music programme. The De Oosterport conference centre in Groningen acts as the festival hub, a centre for industry networking, engaged debate and live music expertise.

Each year, the festival concentrates on showcasing talent from a specific focus nation. For ESNS 2019, the focus becomes double, with acts from both the Czech Republic and Slovakia taking centre stage.

ESNS serves as a key exchange for emerging European artists, combining a packed daytime conference schedule with an equally jammed evening live music programme

The festival opens on 16 January with the European Festival Awards (EFA), at which Peter Smidt, ESNS founder and creative director, will accept the prestigious lifetime achievement award.

Hungary’s Sziget Festival is once again nominated for the best major festival award, having taken home the prize for line-up of the year at last year’s EFAs. It contends for the top spot with Open’er Festival, Hellfest, Pinkpop and Roskilde Festival, among others. CAA agent and 2018 Music Industry Trusts (MITs) award winner Emma Banks appears among the nominees vying for success in the agent of the year category.

The European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP) returns to ESNS following another record-breaking year spreading and promoting the newest and best in European music. Festival shows played through the programme numbered 457 last summer. The programme’s 2018 winner, Superorganism, appears alongside fellow ETEP hits Zeal & Ardor and Sigrid on EFA’s newcomer of the year nominee list.

A change to proceedings sees the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards replace the long-running Europe Border Breaker Awards. The inaugural awards look to support new acts, offering winners the chance to play live at ESNS, and providing them with tailor-made training programmes, as well as financial help. British artists Bishop Briggs and Pale Waves find themselves among the triumphant 12 winners revealed in November.

 


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Peter Smidt to receive lifetime achievement award at EFAs

Peter Smidt, founder and creative director of Eurosonic Noorderslag, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the European Festival Awards (EFA) later this month.

The award will be presented to Smidt at the 2018 EFAs, which once again celebrate achievements in the festival industry across 15 categories. The EFA says it is proud to honour Smidt with the award, in recognition of all his work for the music industry.

The awards be co-hosted by IQ editor Gordon Masson and take place on 16 January 2019 in Groningen, the Netherlands, in conjunction with the opening of Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS).

Throughout his career, Smidt has served as a bastion of European music. He has worked closely with the European Music Office to develop strategies for protecting and promoting European artists, and has created initiatives to enable the expansion of artists across Europe.

The EFA says it is proud to honour Smidt with the award, in recognition of all his work for the music industry

Smidt was integral to the launching of the European Talent Exchange Programme which works with member festivals to promote the spread of European artists across the world. Last year, the initiative enjoyed a record-breaking summer, making 457 shows possible across the festival season.

Having organised the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBAs) for 15 years, Smidt this year initiated the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards to replace them. This EU-backed prize aims to celebrate and support up-and-coming European artists. The inaugural awards ceremony will take place at this year’s ESNS.

Kicking off with the European Festival Awards ceremony, this year’s ESNS will go on to play host to over 4,000 music industry experts and 350 artists across four days of panel discussions, expert talks and live music events.

Last year’s award for lifetime achievement went to Daniel Rossellat, founder and president of Swiss rock festival, Paléo festival Nyon.

 


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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
Goodlive

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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European Festival Awards 2016 – all the winners

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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Panaitescu to receive lifetime achievement award

Sziget booker Dan Panaitescu will be posthumously presented with the lifetime achievement accolade at the European Festival Awards in January.

Panaitescu, who was killed in a car accident on 15 July, had been with Sziget since 1993, and was instrumental in its transformation from a small, regional Hungarian event to an international festival widely considered among Europe’s best. Speaking at the time, former Sziget programme director Fruzsina Szép (now festival director of Lollapalooza Berlin) said Panaitescu had a “personality that nobody can ever forget” and that “his place in the international festival family [is secured] forever”.

A statement from the awards – which take place on 11 January, on the first night of Eurosonic Noorderslag – says Panaitescu’s “vast contributions to the festival industry, and the admiration felt towards him from those within it, […] are the reasons that the European Festival Awards has named him as this year’s recipient of the lifetime achievement award”.

A full list of awards nominees (including the IQ-sponsored agent of the year prize) is available at the European Festival Awards website.

 


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