Voting for the UK festival awards is underway.


Think back just a few short weeks and we were enjoying the sunshine, ready to spend a long weekend living under canvass and having questionable personal hygiene, drinking warm beer from a flimsy cup and donning some questionable head gear, all in celebration of the great British music festival. If there’s one thing we know how to do well in the UK its partying alfresco, and we now boast more festivals, big and small, then pretty much anywhere else in the world. Not bad for a teeny island kingdom.

But which one was your favourite? Are you a mainstream Reading or Leeds kind of person, or do you prefer a more intimate camp bestival, or maybe you just can’t live without your straighteners and stick to the city fests like SW4 and lovebox? Whatever floats your boat the British festival season offers thrills and spills and some pretty good music to boot, and now you can say thanks for the memories (or lack off) by voting for your favourite in the UK festival awards.

The ‘gala’ awards take place on the 18th November at the IndigO2 in London, after an industry conference, and will see all the industry movers and shakers, promoters and those hard working staff come together to celebrate some almighty achievements.

We won’t list all the many, many events shortlisted, (really, we had no idea there was this many!) here but the major players are:

Best Major Festival
In association with Tuborg
Some of the most famous acts in the world, tens of thousands of people and multiple arenas, the largest festivals are a regular pilgrimage for many, and a rite of passage for most. But which one is the best of the biggest?

The nominees are:

Glastonbury Festival
Hard Rock Calling
Isle Of Wight Festival
Leeds Festival
Reading Festival
Sonisphere Festival
T in The Park
V Festival – Hylands Park
V Festival – Weston Park
Wireless sponsored by Barclaycard

Best Medium Sized Festival
Not as large as the giants, but by no means in their shadow, these events provide a more boutique feel, and a more intimate experience. Many start life much smaller, but have grown to this size due to their popularity. Who will pick up the prize this year?

80s Rewind Festival
Africa Oye
Beach Break Live
Beautiful Days
Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival
Ben & Jerry’s Sundae
Bingley Music Live
Camp Bestival
Cornbury Music Festival
Escape Into The Park
Field Day
Gaymers Camden Crawl
Green Man Festival
Greenbelt Festival
Harvest at Jimmys
High Voltage Festival
Hungry Pigeon
Relentless Boardmasters in Association with Vans
Relentless NASS
Rox Music & Art Free Festival
Secret Garden Party
Sidmouth FolkWeek
South West Four
The Big Chill
The Big Reunion
The Co-operative Cambridge Folk Festival
The Midlands Music Festival
Underage Festival
Vintage at Goodwood
On top of that, the other categories include:

Best Small Festival
Often quirky, due to a personal touch and grassroots appeal, the cosiness and sense of
community at these festivals is second to none for many people. This award celebrates
those who stick to the mantra that small is best.
Best Overseas Festival
Increasing numbers of Brits are heading abroad to get their festival fix, choosing a different
culture, new surroundings or sometimes just more reliable weather over home events. Some
have become household names the world over for their international appeal.
Line Up Of The Year *
Picking the right bill can make or break a festival – no mean feat when there are hundreds
of others trying to better you. Whether it’s about securing the biggest names in the world,
putting together some special collaborations, or just knowing what the audience wants, our
judges are looking for the festival which had the most vision when booking acts.

Best Metropolitan Festival
Using the existing infrastructure of a town’s venues, this sector is growing thanks to no need
for camping, very little threat from the weather and the ability to take place at any time
of the year. Sold either on a show-by-show basis, or an all encompassing wristband, they
give people chance to see multiple acts in the comfort of the indoors. Which one had you
ditching green fields for the concrete jungle?


Headline Performance of the Year In association with Jagermeister.
A remarkable performance by a headliner is the thing that people will talk about for years
to come, becoming one of those “I was there” moments. To succeed, it requires energy,
musicianship, dedication and creativity. Some acts may be regulars on the festival circuit,
but which one stood out from the pack?

Best Breakthrough Artist
So many new acts perform at festivals, hoping to catch the ears of the masses of music-
lovers, and secure their place in musical history. This award celebrates the talent which has
managed to get the fans and critics to sit up and pay attention.

Feel-Good Act of the Summer
They may not be the headliner, or even one you particularly came to see, but there’s always
one act which leaves you with a grin on your face even the worst weather can’t shift. Which
one this year gave you that special feeling?

Anthem of the Summer In association with HMV
The ultimate test of any song is how it’s received live – and there’s no better place than
at festivals. While thousands of great records have been lapped up by millions over the
summer, a few stood out as true classics, creating defining festival moments and were sung
all the way back to the campsite.

Best Dance Event.
Rock doesn’t have a monopoly on festivals, growing numbers of events solely dedicated to electronic music have been forging a name for themselves as crowds look to dance the day – and night – away to everything from techno to trance and dubstep to house.

The Grass Roots Festival Award
In association with Robertson Taylor.
Often the best small festivals spring from an organic labour of love and a long-time dream
which has been shared by thousands more. These festivals should be celebrated, not just
for the courage and vision shown by their organisers, but also because they never forget
where they’ve come from, supporting their local communities and new music along the way
while retaining an independent spirit and resisting commercial saturation.

Best New Festival
In association with Access All Areas
Once again, a handful of excellent new events were launched this year, bravely taking
on those with established reputations. Bringing fresh ideas, new music and alternative
audiences to the festival scene.

The Greener Festival Award **
In association with
The Red Kite mark is awarded by on the basis of a questionnaire
and where possible an environmental assessment. All festivals must demonstrate that they
have coherent green policies promoting environmental efficiency and sustainability, including
issues such as CO2 emissions, waste management and recycling.

Best Toilets
One of the most talked-about issues at festivals, whether it’s pongy portable loos, the
lingering longdrops or the unpleasant urinals, all festival toilets tang, but some stink more
than others.
Best Family Festival
Every year, there seems to be more and more children at festivals, with increasingly
impressive areas and facilities for kids reflecting this growth. Games, workshops, kid zones
and activities for youngsters all combine to make their weekend a memorable one – and
often a much easier one for mums and dads.

Promoter of the Year *
In association with IQ
Recognising the festival organiser who has produced an outstanding event, overcome
adversity, or truly gone above and beyond the call of duty.

The Lifetime Achievement Award *
In association with Music Week
Dedicated to an individual whose personal vision and energy has propelled the entire festival
industry forward in a dynamic, creative and positive way.

Best Sponsor Activation ***
In association with Brand Republic
Creating an effective brand strategy around festivals is not easy – this award celebrates the most creative and well thought-out sponsor activity this year.
Outstanding Contribution to Festival Production ****
In association with TPi
Recognising innovation and dedication in the production industry.

Except for *, **, *** and ****, all awards are voted for by fans
*: Chosen by a jury of journalists and industry experts
**: Chosen by
***: Chosen by Brand Republic
****: Chosen by TPi
To vote, and to have a look at the 2009 winners visit.