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European Festival Awards final shortlists announced

The votes have been counted and we can now reveal the finalists in this year’s European Festival Awards, as decided by Europe’s festival-goers. This year – the 6th edition - saw a new record set with over 1.2 million votes cast by fans for their favourite festivals and artists, an astonishing 100% increase on last year’s figures.

Buy tickets for the European Festival Awards here.

Best Major European Festival
in association with PlugGo

The giants of the festival world playing host to the world’s biggest acts, tens of thousands of people and multiple arenas across sites that sprawl for acres. Like popup small cities, the largest festivals are a regular pilgrimage and a rite of passage for many. But which one is the best of the big daddies?

•    Colours of Ostrava (Czech Republic)
•    Electric Picnic (Ireland)
•    EXIT Festival (Serbia)
•    Hurricane & Southside (Germany)
•    NOS Alive (former Optimus Alive) (Portugal)
•    Rock am Ring/ Rock Im Park (Germany)
•    Rock Werchter (Belgium)
•    Roskilde Festival (Denmark)
•    Sziget Festival (Hungary)
•    Tomorrowland (Belgium)
•    Wacken Open Air (Germany)
•    Woodstock Festival (Poland)

Last Year’s Winner: EXIT (Serbia)

Best Medium-Sized European Festival

Not as large as the giants, but by no means in their shadow, these colourful and diverse 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. Some will keep expanding and join the ranks of the majors, others will settle happily into their niche and stay there. Who will pick up the prize this year?

•    Audioriver (Poland)
•    Berlin Festival (Germany)
•    Best Kept Secret (The Netherlands)
•    Electric Castle Festival (Romania)
•    Hideout Festival (Croatia)
•    Lovefest (Serbia)
•    MasterCard Balaton Sound (Hungary)
•    OFF Festival Katowice (Poland)
•    Pohoda Festival (Slovakia)
•    Sea Dance Festival (Montenegro)
•    Volt Festival (Hungary)
•    Way Out West (Sweden)

Last Year’s Winner: Melt! Festival (DE)

Best Small European 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 beautiful.

•    B.my.Lake (Hungary)
•    Feest in het Park (Belgium)
•    Festival Tauron Nowa Muzyka (Poland)
•    Grape Festival (Slovakia)
•    Happiness Festival (Germany)
•    Indiependence (Ireland)
•    Into The Great Wide Open (The Netherlands)
•    Jazz in the Park (Romania)
•    PLAI (Romania)
•    The Garden Festival (Croatia)

Last Year’s Winner: Fusion Festival (Romania)

Best New European Festival

Once again, some excellent new events were launched this year, bravely taking on those with established reputations. Bringing a fresh take, new music and alternative audiences to the festival scene, which one have you already put in your diary for next time?

•    Bergfestival (Austria)
•    Down The Rabbit Hole (The Netherlands)
•    Festival The Brave (Holland)
•    Imaginarium Festival (France)
•    MS Artville (Germany)
•    Sea Dance Festival (Montenegro)
•    Serbia Wonderland Festival (Serbia)
•    Signal Festival (Czech republic)
•    Sunscape Festival (Malta)
•    Your'in (Belgium)

Last Year’s Winner: B.my.Lake (Hungary)
 
Best Indoor 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?

•    Blues in Hell (Norway)
•    I Love Techno (Belgium)
•    I Love Techno (France)
•    Metal Hammer Paradise (Germany)
•    Reeperbahn Festival (Germany)
•    Rolling Stone Weekender (Germany)
•    Sensation (The Netherlands)
•    Sonar (Spain)
•    TiMAF (Romania)
•    Waves (Austria & Slovakia)

Last Year’s Winner: Metal Hammer Paradise (Germany)

Newcomer Of The Year
in association with Eurosonic Noorderslag

New talent is the lifeblood of the festival scene and smaller events and stages are abound with fresh acts hoping to catch the ears of the masses of music-lovers, and secure their place on the road to becoming tomorrow’s headliners. This award celebrates the ones that managed to get the fans and critics to sit up and pay attention.

•    Birth of Joy
•    George Ezra
•    Hozier
•    Jungle
•    London Grammar
•    Mighty Oaks
•    Milky Chance
•    Mo
•    Royal Blood
•    Stromae

Last Year’s Winner: Imagine Dragons (USA)
 
Best Headliner

A killer headline performance can be talked about for years to come, etched into musical history as one of those “I was there” moments. To succeed requires energy, musicianship, dedication, creativity and a fortuitous coming together of time and space. Some acts may be regulars on the festival circuit, but which one nailed it?

•    Arcade Fire
•    Arctic Monkeys
•    Imagine Dragons
•    Jack White
•    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
•    Outkast
•    Pearl Jam
•    QOTSA
•    Stromae
•    The Black Keys

Last Year’s Winner: Arctic Monkeys (UK)

Festival Anthem of the Year

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. Which was your fave?

•    Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine
•    Atomic Bomb! - The Atomic Bomb! Band and Special Guests
•    Black Keys - Lonely Boy
•    Calvin Harris - Summer
•    Ellie Goulding - Burn
•    George Ezra - Budapest
•    Outkast - Hey Ya
•    Pharell Williams- Happy
•    Royal Blood - Come on Over
•    Stromae - Papaoutai

Last Year’s Winner: Daft Punk – Get Lucky (France)
 
The following awards are decided purely by our jury of industry experts:

Best European Festival Line-Up

Picking the right bill will make or break a festival – no mean feat when there are hundreds of others trying to better you and a decreasing pool of established acts to bid on. Whether it’s about securing the biggest names in the world, putting together special collaborations, or just knowing what the audience wants, our judges are looking for the festival which displayed the most vision when booking acts.

•    Best Kept Secret (The Netherlands)
•    Glastonbury (United Kingdom)
•    Open'er Festival (Poland)
•    Hurricane/Southside (Germany)
•    Oya Festival (Norway)
•    Pinkpop (The Netherlands)
•    Primavera (Spain)
•    Rock am Ring / Rock im Park (Germany)
•    Rock Werchter (Belgium)
•    Sziget (Hungary)

Last Year’s Winner: Berlin Festival (Germany)

Artist’s Favourite European Festival

The group of people that has a unique insight into the festival experience is the artists. Playing in front of thousands of people as they travel from one to another, they probably see more than most do during the summer. But which one do they enjoy the most?

•    Glastonbury (United Kingdom)
•    Hove (Norway)
•    Oya Festivalen (Norway)
•    Primavera Sound (Spain)
•    Pukkelpop (Belgium)
•    Rock en Seine (France)
•    Rock Werchter (Belgium)
•    Slottsfjell (Norway)
•    Sziget (Hungary)
•    Way Out West (Sweden)

Last Year’s Winner: Lowlands (Netherlands)

Promoter Of The Year

Recognising the festival organiser who has produced an outstanding event, overcome adversity, or truly gone above and beyond the call of duty and pulled something phenomenal out of the bag. There’s always at least one each year, often several so this one is often a very tough call for judges.

•    FKP Scorpio (Germany)
•    Friendly Fire (The Netherlands)
•    Live Nation (Belgium)
•    Metropolis (United Kingdom)
•    ID&T (Belgium)

Last Year’s Winner: FKP Scorpio (Germany)

The Green Operations Award

(Previously the Yourope Green ‘N’ Clean Award). The Green Operations Award, presented by Yourope and the GO Group, recognises festivals which have made a significant contribution to or achievement towards developing more sustainable events. This may be through practises and systems introduced at their own event, through the development of good practices which they have shared with other events, a specific innovation or through continued improvements over a number of years. The award is judged and awarded by a panel made up of experts not directly linked to any specific festival with the exception that the previous year’s winner will be invited to cast a vote for the following year’s award only.

•    Boom (Portugal)
•    Cabaret Vert (France)
•    Cambridge Folk Festival (United Kingdom)
•    Fusion (Germany)
•    Ilosaarirock (Finland)
•    Isle Of Wight (United Kingdom)
•    Maifeld Derby (Germany)
•    Melt! (Germany)
•    Mysteryland (The Netherlands)
•    Northside (Denmark)
•    Øya Festival (Norway)
•    Rock Am Ring (Germany)
•    Roskilde (Denmark)
•    Shambala (United Kingdom)
•    We Love Green (France)
•    Welcome to the Future (The Netherlands)

Last Year’s Winner: Way Out West (Sweden)

 
The following categories do not have shortlists. The winners will be announced at the gala ceremony in Groningen on 14th January.

YES Group H&S Innovation Award In association with the YES Group and ICM&SS

Launched in 2013, this award recognises innovation in health and safety at music festivals. Many festivals have, or are developing, new ways to enhance both health and safety within their crowded spaces. Some go to great efforts to deliver new and exciting products and services, which keep the audience ever safer and reduce the risks within the event environment.  These innovations can inform and positively change public behaviour and also create a safety culture throughout the event industry.

Last Year’s Winner: Paleo (Switzerland)

Award For Excellence And Passion

Launched in 2014, this award is dedicated to an individual whose exceptional passion and dedication has created a truly unique and magical entity in the marketplace much bigger than the sum of acts that perform there.

Last Year’s Winner: N/A

Lifetime Achievement Award
In association with Yourope

Dedicated to an individual whose personal vision and energy has propelled the entire festival marketplace forward in a dynamic, creative and positive way.
Last Year’s Winner: Marek Lieberberg (Germany)