Independent Festival Awards 2019 winners revealed

The Association of independent Festivals (AIF) has announced the winners of the Independent Festival Awards 2019, with Standon Calling, Deer Shed Festival, Twiserella and KOKOKO! all taking home gongs.

The awards ceremony follows the first day of AIF’s 2019 Festival Congress in Sheffield and featured eight categories including four new ones this year.

The awards took place last night (Wednesday) at 92 Burton Road and were hosted by actor, writer and comedian Thanyia Moore.

This year’s winners included Standon Calling (Smart Marketing), Deer Shed Festival (Never Mind the Pollocks – an award for best festival artwork) and Twisterella (In On The Ground Floor – an award for forward-thinking booking).

KOKOKO!, a collective formed in Kinshasa capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, won the Live Act of the Year sponsored by PRS for Music.

Meanwhile, former creative director of Deer Shed Festival Megan Evans was also honoured with the inaugural Backstage Hero award, designed to give recognition to unsung individuals working hard behind the scenes to deliver festivals.

The nominations were presented to AIF’s 65 member festivals and then determined by a Festival Congress steering group vote.

The Independent Festival Awards Winners 2019 are as follows:
Unique Festival Arena – The Street at Beat-Herder
Live Act of the Year (In association with PRS for Music) – KOKOKO!
Festival Caterer of the Year (In association with NCASS) – Flavors Of Africa
Smart Marketing – Standon Calling
In On The Ground Floor (In association with Marcato) – Twisterella
Never Mind The Pollocks – Deer Shed Festival
Backstage Hero – Megan Evans
European Festival – Pete the Monkey

This year’s awards shared the Festival Congress theme of ‘Utopia And Dystopia’, including creative production and décor from production company Pink Marmalade, and featuring fire dancers and live performers.

The first day of AIF’s Festival Congress conference featured talks from Bing Jones (Extinction Rebellion), Owen Kingston (Parabolic Theatre) and Photographer Jill Furmanovsky, alongside a headline panel discussion about the nature of independence.

Paul Reed, chief executive, AIF, says: ‘The Independent Festival Awards was a fantastic celebration and the awards ceremony felt like it had stepped up a gear with a new host, new categories and outstanding production that enhanced the overall independent festival feel of the evening.

‘Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees, all of whom reiterate that the independent festival sector remains at the forefront of innovation and creativity. We’ll continue pushing forward into 2020.’

Amy Field, senior events manager, PRS for Music, adds: ‘These awards are an important and relevant celebration of the independent festival sector and acknowledge the creativity and hard work that goes into producing some of the finest festivals in Europe. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners, including KOKOKO!, whose ingenuity and innovative sound won them live act of the year.’

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