UK Festival Awards reveals 2018 shortlists

UK Festival Awards has unveiled the shortlists for its 2018 shortlists, honouring dozens of outstanding festivals across the UK.

The UK Festival Awards – set to host its 15th edition on December 6th at the Troxy in London – has revealed its shortlists for 2018.

The shortlists comprise over 80 festivals and booking agents, all hoping to win one of 20 prestigious accolades. Festivals with multiple nominations include Latitude Festival, Parklife, 2000trees, Bluedot Festival and Bearded Theory.

The shortlists for the Innovation Award, recognising new concepts and initiatives that are at the cutting edge of festival culture, include 2000trees, Bearded Theory, Breaking Bands, Festival Safe, Shambala Festival and WOMAD.

In the running for this year’s Brand Activation Award (sponsored by CGA), recognising the brand that brought their best experiential marketing or activation to festivals, are: Corona, Hells Parlour, Old Mout Cider, Smirnoff, Superdry and Strongbow.

This year, the UKFA will welcome rapper, comedian and actor Doc Brown to be its host. Beginning his career as underground rapper Doc Brown, Ben Bailey Smith now has a host of notable television performances under his belt, including a starring role in ITV’s Law & Order, C4’s The Inbetweeners and Derek, BBC thriller Hunted, BBC comedies Miranda and, Russell Howard’s Good News, Live at the Apollo and more.

UK Festival Awards’ Judging & Awards Manager, Michael Baker, says: “The competition gets bigger and better year on year and in 2018, UK festivals have created some of the most impressive work to date. It goes without saying that to be shortlisted this year is a huge achievement and we’d like to congratulate all of our 2018 shortlists for making it this far. We look forward to celebrating with the winners and all shortlisted festival organisers at our Awards on 6 December.”

Tickets for the ceremony are on sale now and can be purchased here. Tickets include a seat at the ceremony, access to the networking reception and in-house after party, plus street food catering courtesy of KERB Food and some complimentary drinks. Buy now to avoid disappointment, as organisers are preparing for another sell-out event.

For more information on the event – including timings, details on the judging process and more – please visit the official website or contact the team on

Without further ado, here are the 2018 shortlists for the UK Festival Awards:

The Innovation Award: Recognising new concepts and initiatives that are at the cutting edge of festival culture.

  • 2000trees (for its fully cashless festival with PlayPass)
  • Bearded Theory (for its Food Bank Holiday)
  • Breaking Bands (for its Festival Foundation)
  • Festival Safe (for its festival information website)
  • Shambala Festival (for its sustainability practices)
  • WOMAD (for the d&b Soundscape Stage)

Last year’s winner: The Loop

Best Hospitality: Celebrating the festival that not only offers the most impactful extras, but that does not devalue the standard ticket holder’s experience in doing so.

  • Barclaycard presents BST Hyde Park
  • Cambridge Rock Festival
  • Download Festival
  • Festival No.6
  • HowTheLightGetsIn
  • Stonedeaf Festival

Last year’s winner: Barclaycard presents BST Hyde Park

Presented by: Pernod Ricard UK


Concession of the Year: Goes to the catering company offering the most creative, delicious, and exciting food & drink offering at this year’s festivals.

  • Barnaby Sykes Pie Maker
  • Beetle Juice
  • Cheezy Vinyl Bar
  • Happy Maki
  • The Hippy Chippy
  • Wingmans

Last year’s winner: Piecaramba!

Marketing Campaign of the Year: Goes to those responsible for the most unique and effective marketing or PR campaign of the season.

  • Bluedot Festival
  • Camp Wildfire
  • Eastern Electrics
  • Fly Open Air
  • Kendal Calling
  • Splendour Festival

Last year’s winner: Kendal Calling with TOUR.MEDIA

Best Festival Production: Recognising the incredible impact production plays in creating memorable experiences for festival-goers.

  • All Points East
  • Eastern Electrics
  • Elrow Town London
  • Isle of Wight Festival
  • Latitude Festival
  • Parklife

Last year’s winner: Lost Village

Agency of the Year: Recognising the booking agency responsible for making the greatest positive contribution to festival content.

  • 13 Artists
  • ATC Live
  • CAA
  • Coda Music Agency
  • Primary Talent
  • UTA

Last year’s winner: Coda Music Agency

The Brand Activation Award: Recognising the brand that brought their best experiential marketing or activation to festivals.

  • Corona Sunsets at Boardmasters
  • Hells Parlour at Lost Village
  • Old Mout Cider Kiwi Camp
  • Smirnoff Equalising Music
  • Superdry Sounds at Field Day
  • The Strongbow Yard

Last year’s winner: Jägermeister Jägerhaus

Presented by: CGA

Line-Up of the Year: This award crowns the festival that managed to create the most exciting programme in accordance with their means.

  • All Points East
  • ArcTanGent
  • End of the Road Festival
  • Isle of Wight Festival
  • Latitude Festival
  • Parklife

Last year’s winner: Liverpool Music Week

Best Non-Music Festival: Recognising the best non-music festival in the UK for 2018.

  • Camper Jam
  • Camp Wildfire
  • Cheltenham Science Festival
  • HowTheLightGetsIn
  • The National Festival of Making
  • Taste of London

Last year’s winner: Bournemouth 7’s

Best Festival for Emerging Talent: This award goes to the festival that most effectively supports and promotes the smallest names on its line-up.

  • Black Deer Festival
  • Dot to Dot Festival
  • Festival No. 6
  • FOCUS Wales
  • Live at Leeds
  • Liverpool Sound City

Last year’s winner: Dot to Dot Festival

Promoter of the Year: Recognises the promoter behind at least one outstanding festival, who may have notably overcome adversity or exceeded expectations.

  • AEG Presents / Goldenvoice
  • Broadwick Live
  • DF Concerts
  • Festival Republic
  • From the Fields
  • The Futuresound Group

Last year’s winner: SJM Concerts

Best Family Festival: This award goes to the event that best caters towards families.

  • Bearded Theory
  • Deer Shed Festival
  • Just So Festival
  • Latitude Festival
  • The National Festival of Making
  • Victorious Festival

Last year’s winner: Camp Bestival

The Greener Festival Award: This award goes to the festival that has shown the most dedication to reducing its environmental impact.

  • Boomtown Fair
  • Barclaycard presents BST Hyde Park
  • Cambridge Folk Festival
  • Fire in the Mountain
  • Green Gathering
  • Greenbelt
  • Kew the Music
  • Manchester Pride
  • Wood Festival

Last year’s winner: The Green Gathering

Presented by: A Greener Festival

The Grassroots Festival Award: This award acknowledges the independent festivals whose organisers sacrifice their time, energy and finances in order to host an event that’s true to their ideals and free of commercial interests.

  • Barn on the Farm
  • Breaking Bands Festival
  • Liverpool Calling
  • Osfest Derbyshire
  • Woo Fest
  • Zombie Fest

Last year’s winner: 2000trees

Best Overseas Festival: This award recognises the best overseas festival of 2018.

  • Annie Mac Presents: Lost & Found
  • Hideout Festival
  • Pol’and’Rock Festival
  • Snowbombing
  • Sziget Festival
  • Tomorrowland

Last year’s winner: Outlook Festival

Best New Festival: Recognising the most promising new festival that launched in 2018.

  • All Points East
  • Arcadia London
  • Jika Jika! Festival
  • Magical Festival
  • Neighbourhood Weekender
  • Timber Festival

Last year’s winner: TRNSMT Festival

Presented by: Ticketmaster

Best Metropolitan Festival: This award is bestowed upon the festival that most convincingly made a city its own.

  • Barclaycard presents BST Hyde Park
  • Jika Jika! Festival
  • Macmillan Fest
  • Parklife
  • Victorious Festival
  • Wireless Festival

Last year’s winner: Slam Dunk

Best Small Festival: This award recognises the best festival with a daily capacity lower than 10,000.

  • ArcTanGent
  • Electric Fields
  • Neighbourhood Festival
  • When In Manchester
  • Woo Fest
  • Zombie Fest

Last year’s winner: Lost Village

Best Medium-Sized Festival: This award recognises the best festival with a daily capacity between 10,000 – 39,999.

  • 2000trees
  • Beat-Herder
  • Bluedot Festival
  • Cambridge Folk Festival
  • Kendal Calling
  • Rewind Festival

Last year’s winner: End of the Road Festival

Best Major Festival: This award recognises which one is of the highest quality and is restricted to events with a capacity exceeding 40,000 per day.

  • Boardmasters Festival
  • Download Festival
  • Isle of Wight Festival
  • Latitude Festival
  • Parklife
  • TRNSMT Festival

Last year’s winner: Latitude Festival

UK Festival Awards is grateful to our sponsors of this year’s event:

Sponsorships opportunities are still available, contact for details.

About UK Festival Awards

Since its inception in 2004, the UK Festival Awards has been dedicated to recognising and celebrating the collective accomplishments of the nation’s most beloved industry. Across its 20 categories, the Awards acknowledges the achievements of organisers and suppliers in the fields of programming, production, innovation, emerging talent, marketing, hospitality, catering and more.

In 2017, food and drink business consultancy CGA acquired the UK Festival Awards. From its offices in Manchester, United Kingdom, and Chicago, United States, CGA experts work with many of the world’s biggest consumer brands, including drinks manufacturers, consumer brand owners, food suppliers and wholesalers as well as pub, bar and restaurant retailers, festivals and government entities.

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