The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has announced the shortlist for its Festival Congress Awards, ahead of the annual Festival Congress in Cardiff next month.

The awards will be hosted by Ben Challis, general counsel to Glastonbury Festival, and will take place on the evening of the first day of the Congress (5 November) at Cardiff University’s Great Hall.

Included among the eight categories are New Festival on the Block, Mind Blowing Spectacle, Unique Festival Arena, Live Act of the Year, Smart Marketing, Unsung Hero and the Emmet Brown Award for Innovative Use of Technology.

Nominees include Boomtown Fair, Block9, Bestival, La Fura dels Baus at Wilderness, ArcTanGent, HMS Sweet Charity at Glastonbury, The Clik Clik Colelctive’s Cabinet of Lost Secrets at Nozstock: The Hidden Valley and Shambala.

A festival-themed party, including a street food festival banquet, will follow the ceremony, with AIF DJs taking the stage at the afterparty, including Rob da Bank (Bestival), The Head Gardner (Secret Garden Party) and Chris Tofu (Continental Drifts).

Nominations are put forward and then voted for by the AIF’s 55 member festivals.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response to nominations and are very excited about the Festival Congress Awards and evening celebration this year,” said Paul Reed, AIF general manager. “It is an incredibly strong and diverse shortlist and the awards are a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge the creativity and hard work of AIF members and, of course, the wider festival community.”

The shortlist is as follows:

New Festival on the Block (no more than three editions)

·      ArcTanGent

·      Northbound Festival

·      Somersault Festival

·      Breakout Festival

·      Underneath The Stars Festival

·      Forgotten Fields Festival

·      Garage Nation Festival

·      Camp Wildfire

·      Twisterella

Unique Festival Arena

·      Clik Clik Collectives Cabinet of Lost Secrets at Nozstock: The Hidden Valley.

·      Room No. 7 at 2000trees

·      The Hide at Larmer Tree Festival

·      The Hidden Hedge at Blissfields

·      The Obelisk Stage at Deershed

·      HMS Sweet Charity at Glastonbury

·      The Over Barn at Barn On The Farm

·      Next Generation at Village Green Festival

·      The Travelling Barn at Fire In The Mountain 

Live Act of the Year

·      Black Peaks

·      Ibibio Sound Machine

·      Songhoy Blues

·      Palace

·      Slamboree

·      Mr B The Gentlemen Rhymer

·      Slaves

·      Nothing But Thieves

·      Kimberley Anne

·      Cleft Vs. Alpha Male Tea Party

·      Wolf Alice

Mind Blowing Spectacle

·      The Larmer Tree – 25th Anniversary Site Installation

·      Block9 – Glastonbury

·      Fireworks – Bestival

·      La Fura dels Baus (the human net) – Wilderness

·      Boomtown’s Palace (The Main Stage)- Boomtown Fair 

Best Smart Marketing Campaign of the Year

·      Boomtown Fair’s Spoof Videos

·      Standon Calling’s 10th Anniversary Theme

·      We Are FSTVL’s Youtube Channel

·      Bestival’s Summer of Love Campaign

Festival Journalist/Website of the Year

·      Scott Williams of efestivals

·      Edith Bowman – Edith Bowman’s Great British Music Festivals

·      Hannah Braid – Daisy Digital

·      Simon Godley – God is in the TV ZIne

·      Remfry Dedman – The Independent

·      Noisey

·      Festival Baby

Emmet Brown Award for Innovative Use of Technology

·      Larmer Tree Festival’s Music Controlled Balloon Lights.

·      Skiddle’s Rapidscan Box Office

·      Natural Event’s Compost Loos

·      The Physical Network – Peer to Peer ticketing

·      Shambala – The first UK Festival to accept Bitcoin as payment, thanks to eToro Opinie

Unsung Hero

·      James Scarlett – 2000trees

·      Davie Wilson – Larmer Tree Festival site manager

·      Alex Thomson – Press officer of Greenhouse Group (Blissfields)

·      Emma Zillmann – Kendal Calling/Forgotten Fields

·      Chris Tofu – Continental Drifts

·      Olly Marfell – ArcTanGent

·      Jo McLoughlin – Village Green Production Manager

·      Megan Evans – Deershed Festival 

The AIF Festival Congress takes place this year from 5-6 November at Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre.