AIF announces Independent Festival Awards shortlist

Music festival - gig - crowd

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has announced the shortlist for the 2018 Independent Festival Awards.

The Outstanding Contribution Award will be given posthumously to Tramlines Festival Director Sarah Nulty, who tragically passed away earlier this year following a short illness.

Meltdown will be awarded the Act of Independence award for its actions in addressing mental health in the music industry. Following the death of Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison, the festival decided not to replace the band’s show at the Robert Smith curated event, instead holding a panel on mental health awareness.

Elsewhere, other nominees include Black Deer, Arcadia London, Elrow Town, Shame, Lost Village and the Forest Sessions at 2000Trees.

AIF chief executive Paul Reed said: ‘The Independent Festival Awards are now an annual fixture and a true celebration of the creativity and innovation taking place across the independent festival industry.

‘It feels fitting, in our first year in Sheffield, to honour Sarah Nulty with the Outstanding Contribution award, not only for her tireless work ethic and incredible achievements with Tramlines but the wider contribution that she made to the independent festival world and what Sarah meant to our community.’

Tramlines operations director Timm Cleasby said: ‘We are all so proud that Sarah has received this award and never was it more deserved. To be recognised by her peers for all her hard work, drive and determination, is a true honour to her memory, and to the legacy she’s left behind in Tramlines.’

Commenting on the Act of Independence award, Bengi Ünsal, senior contemporary music programmer at Southbank Centre, said: ‘We are incredibly honoured and humbled to receive this award. After hearing the news of Scott Hutchison’s death, instead of leaving the Queen Elizabeth Hall un-programmed and keeping the issue in the dark, we wanted to use the space and the platform of Meltdown festival to bring people together and shine a light on the worryingly common issues of mental health across the music industry.

‘I am grateful to this year’s curator Robert Smith and to the wider Southbank Centre team for making it happen, and to the bravely candid panellists for sharing their experiences.’

The awards take place on 6 November at 92 Burton Road in Sheffield. See below for the full shortlist.

The Independent Festival Awards shortlist 2018:

Outstanding Contribution
Sarah Nulty (Tramlines)

Act of Independence
Meltdown Festival – Mental health panel in replacement of Frightened Rabbit performance.

New Festival on the Block (In association with Marcato)
Magical Festival
El Dorado
Black Deer
Arcadia London

Unique Festival Arena
Forest Sessions at 2000 Trees
Main Stage at Elrow Town
Abandoned Chapel at Lost Village
The Data Mine at Shambala.
Paradise Heights at Boomtown Fair

Live Act of the Year
Dream Wife
The Blue Planet in Concert with the Halle Orchestra
Barney Artist

Festival Caterer of the Year (In association with NCASS)
Smokin’ Hot Tamales.
The Peckish Peacock
The Lambassadors
Le Bao
Barbeque Dreamz

Smart Marketing Campaign
The Red Stars – Kendal Calling
‘Making Waves’ video game – Deer Shed
20th Birthday ‘Nozstalgia’ theme – Nozstock
Promotional videos- Lost Village.
Renaming the event the ‘Gareth Southgate’ festival – Truck.