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2012′s winners unravelled

Ever wondered what makes an award-winner? Here we look at every winner in this year’s awards and what made them excel, from the public voted to the jury-decided categories…

First, the public-voted ones…

Best Major Festival – Bestival

Says Clash News Editor Robin Murray: “No other festival managed to successfully cover as many genres, touch as many bases, please as many people as Bestival. Matching enormous headliners (who delivered impeccable performances) they were able to impact a sense of quirky personality onto a bill which stretched the barriers of eclecticism. Sigur Ros followed by Stevie Wonder… no other festival on the planet would try something like that!

Best Medium-Sized Festival sponsored by Eventbrite – Bloodstock Open Air Festival

Bringing bands to the UK that rarely play here, and giving unparalleled support to the unsigned scene, Bloodstock is the UK’s biggest and best Independent Metal festival. With a very strong team who continue to work tirelessly year in year out, coupled with the most loyal fans of any music genre, we have the recipe for what is a Very Metal weekend!

Best Small Festival sponsored by Jeremiah Weed – Y Not Festival

Y Not began life as a house party for 150 people that spilled over into a nearby field. Seven years on we welcomed 8,000 ticket holders through the gates, but has somehow managed to retain that early ethos of a gathering of people just having a good time, put together by the same people who set it up all those years ago.

Best New Festival sponsored by Access All Areas – Festival No.6

Festival No.6 is a festival like no other in a place like no other. Inspired by the fantasy world of Portmeirion, we set out to bring the village alive as the most magical festival site imaginable. No.6 is much more than a music festival, with an innovative arts and culture programme including spoken word, poetry, comedy, pop-up theatre, film screenings, aerial trapeze artists and a spectacular fire garden.

Best Dance Event sponsored by Peppermint Bars – GlobalGathering

GlobalGathering has become the UK’s most cutting edge and forward thinking electronic music festival, redefining the model of dance festivals by bringing together the freshest underground sounds and future headliners with some of the world’s most critically acclaimed artists. With Tinie Tempah, Chase & Status, Armin van Buuren, Skrillex and Friendly Fires headlining the 2012 event.

Best Metropolitan Festival – Camden Crawl

Camden Crawl is communally programmed by an incredibly diverse melting pot of the of the UK’s most prolific independent arts and music advocates. It brings all social groups and age ranges together to experiment with a wide array of cutting edge art and music genres within its affordable one ticket umbrella. There is a rock & roll euphoria that sweeps through the entirety of Camden Town centre as the whole community embraces and participates in the event day and night through the long bank holiday weekend.

Best Family Festival – Latitude

Celebrating its seventh year in 2012, Latitude has secured its reputation as one of the most highly respected and anticipated festivals of the summer. Using the natural landscape of the surrounding woodland and the lake to showcase its artists like no other festival, Latitude delivers the very best established and emerging talent from the worlds of music, comedy, theatre, cabaret, dance, poetry, literature, art and fashion.

The Grass Roots Festival Award – Green Man

Maybe its because of the incredible beauty of its Black Mountain location, the passion for music which draws musicians and music lovers back each year, or that its never strayed from its independent anti corporate stance which has made Green Man such a unique and magical experience.

Best Toilets sponsored by XL Video – Lodestar

Considering toilets are the most talked-about feature at festivals, it amazes us how few events go out of their way to provide excellent ones. Lodestar are a welcome exception and keep their attendees happy by cleaning their loos for 18 hours a day! That’s the kind of commitment that wins awards.

Best Overseas Festival – Benicassim (Spain)

Sun, sea, sand, Stone Roses… scorchio!

Headline Performance Of The Year – New Order at Festival No. 6

Rebecca Laurence of Virtual Festivals writes: “Iconic, tragic, bittersweet, anthemic, there’s no arguing that watching New Order performing their most famous, Joy Division song whilst images of Ian Curtis and ‘Joy Division Forever’ flash behind them is not only poignant and melancholic, but also full of hope. Fusing this sense of pasts lived and futures to behold, we can’t think of a more perfect band to finish off this new festival in its very unique, nostalgia-heavy setting.”

Best Breakthrough Act sponsored by Jagermeister – Jake Bugg

The Nottingham singer’s self-titled debut went straight to Number One in October, dethroning Mumford and Sons’ ‘Babel’ and beating Leona Lewis’ ‘Glassheart’ into third place. Infamously, Bugg later remarked: “It’s my job to keep that X Factor shit off the top of the charts.” For that reason alone he deserves this award.

Anthem Of The Summer – Django Django – Default

Tim Chester at NME writes: “Every so often a band such as this drops by as some kind of compensation for the fact that Clor no longer exist in a world where The Wombats do. Django Django offer an alternative oasis in an arid no-man’s-land of identikit indie. If this is their default setting, lord knows how it sounds when they’re going out on a limb.”

These categories were decided by industry juries...

Promoter Of The Year sponsored by Robertson Taylor – Gareth Cooper (Festival No. 6, Beach Break, Lollibop)

Decided by the Festival Awards Board. From founding of Snowbombing to having the vision to spot that a teddy bear’s picnic in Stoke Newington could sell 30000 tickets in Regents Park, Gareth Cooper has earned a unique reputation in this industry for conceiving new ways to create live festival entertainment – with great success. He is shareholder in Parklife, Lounge on the Farm and Beach Break Live but his most recent creation Festival Number 6 has cleared the pathway for how good new festivals can be in a worrying market.

The Extra-Festival Activity Award – Live From Jodrell Bank

Decided by the Festival Awards Board. Jodrell Bank is an internationally renowned center for astrophysics. The festival’s organisers used this fact to engage customers in science related content with the help of 80 scientists, a mars rover prototype, particle research and a live video link from the stage to an observatory in Chile! It all climaxed with a 76meter projection onto the Lovell Telescope during headliner Elbow’s set, featuring custom visuals made in collaboration between the band and the scientists. It all made for a truly unique festival moment.

Best Line-Up – Download

Decided by a panel of renowned UK music journalists. Hosting more than 100 acts over three epic days at the spiritual home of rock, Doningon Park, Download is the UK’s largest and loudest hard rock and metal festival. In a tough year, Download just went from strength to strength, selling out its biggest capacity to date and packing what has been hailed as one of the greatest rock line-ups of all time, crowned by thrash titans Metallica, metal legends Black Sabbath and electro-punk gods The Prodigy.

Concession Of The Year – Paelleria

Decided by festival organisers. Raves Bestival’s Rob da Bank: “The real deal for any festival – boasting genuine Spanish ingredients from the stock base through the finest Spanish chorizo to their juicy olives, it is some of the best festival food we’ve ever tasted and it’s all knocked up in a field! Combine that with always-smiling, dressed up staff who know their stuff and a kooky stall complete with Spanish postcards and we can’t think of a more deserving winner!”

Best Brand Activation sponsored by CGA – Southern Comfort Juke Joint

Decided by the European Sponsorship Association. Chris McCormick, Festival Awards co-founder: “In a product category with a long history of festival sponsorship and activations, the Juke Joint is a relatively fresh idea. The production values and theatre are the interesting elements with the brand not being forced. The follow on results of 82% of people who would try the drink again showed a genuine impact and this ultimately leads to more value for the promoter.”

Lifetime Achievement Award – John Probyn

Decided by the Festival Awards Board. Steve Jenner, Festival Awards co-founder: “John’s contributions to event production have raised the bar in safety, comfort and enjoyment for millions of live music fans across the festival spectrum, worldwide, extending far beyond his own events. For this reason alone this award is overdue. However, I feel passionately that credit also very much due for John’s commitment to engaging directly with his audiences through digital channels as well as regular fan-forum meet-up events. This has been key to the stand-out success of events like Download Festival and has driven forward the evolution of the wider marketplace in no small strides”.

Click here for more testimonials and information on this award.

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