UK Festival Awards kicks off in London?s Red Bull Studios

Last night (September 15th) saw the official launch party for the UK Festival Awards get underway at London’s Red Bull studios.

UK Festival Awards managing director James Drury, officially opened a limited fan-voting period for the categories of Best Overseas Festival, Headline Performance of the Year, Best Breakthrough Artist, Anthem of the Summer (shortlist compiled by Virtual Festivals readers) and new for 2011: Fan’s Favourite Festival. Winners will be announced at the UK Festival Awards ceremony at London’s Roundhouse on Tuesday, 15th November. A full nominations lists for these categories can be viewed at where voting opens on Friday, 16 September and will close Monday 10 October.

The shortlist for Anthem of the Summer has already been decided by readers of Virtual Festivals, with tracks from Jessie J, Chase & Status, Pulp, Ed Sheeran, Bombay Bicycle Club, Muse, My Chemical Romance, Foo Fighters, Noah and the Whale and Mercury winner PJ Harvey making up the list of nominees.

Other awards to be presented at the ceremony include the categories of Best Major, Medium, and Small Festivals, Best Metropolitan Festival, Best New Festival, Best Toilets, Best Family Festival and Best Line-Up. Each of these will be decided by a judging panel, comprising journalists and reviewers who have scored each festival according to criteria set by the industry.

Awards such as Agent of the Year, Concession of the Year, The Greener Festival Award, Best Sponsor Activation, The Extra-Festival Activity Award, Outstanding Contribution to Festival Production, Promoter of the Year and the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award will also be decided by UK Festival Awards’ panels of experts and media partners.

Festival Awards managing director James Drury, said: “Over 200 UK festivals are taking part in the Awards this year, which is the most we’ve ever had. It’s testament to the vibrancy of the British market, despite some challenging economic conditions. I can’t wait to find out who’s won.”

When reflecting on the financial difficulties to have faced the UK summer festival season in 2011, Drury also commented: “The season this year has been quite challenging, but the ingenuity of the promoters and festivals has meant that less festivals have closed this year than last year. We’ve got 200 festivals involved with the awards this year, which is more than last year, which just goes to show the vibrancy of the scene at the moment.”