The Event Production Awards, which took place on the first day of the Event Production Show (26 May), saw winners from eight different categories across the live events sector presented with champagne in front of a long-awaited live audience.

Covering both virtual and physical events, the awards at Farnborough International commended companies and individuals who showed spirit and ingenuity to succeed in a year like no other for the sector.

The awards showcased notable progress such as lobbying Government, pivoting to find new ways of working, launching initiatives to support staff welfare and raising money for those unable to work.

The winner of the Access All Areas Editor’s Award was Festival Republic managing director Melvin Benn, who was absent due to him planning the three-day Events Research Programme (ERP) pilot event.

Benn said, “An award is normally given to recognise accomplishments or show gratitude and based on the fact I haven’t produced many events in the past 18 months, I’m guessing it’s to show gratitude?

“However, if this is linked to all the work I have been doing with the Government to get the Events Industry back on its feet again this award needs to be shared not only with my own team, but with so many people in the industry that have helped and supported this considerable effort.

“I am confident that we will be back in a field or venue doing what we do best very soon.”

The Best Live Events Industry Campaign, sponsored by Silent Noise Events, was awarded to #LetTheMusicPlay by LIVE (Live Music Industry Venues and Entertainment). The campaign was created by the likes of Concert Promoters Association, National Arenas Association, PSA, Music Venues Trust, and Agents Association. It called for financial aid and a defined timeline for the live industry and consisted of social media action and a letter to culture secretary Oliver Dowden.

The Access All Areas Special Recognition Award was won by The Survival Tour – a 1,500km cycle organised by #WeMakeEvents to raise awareness of live music, events and theatre industries.

The Best Covid-safe Music Event, sponsored by DAM Health, was awarded to Lockdown Town by One Night Records. The gig series was launched in October 2020 at One Night Records venue in Southwark, London, and explored five musical eras – ragtime, jazz, blues, country, and fifties rock and roll.

While the Best Covid-safe Non-Music Event, also sponsored by DAM Health, was awarded to London Concours by Thorough Events. The garden party displayed 80 cars at London’s Honourable Artillery Company Museum, with food and drinks on offer. This years’ event is set to take place from 8-10 June.

The Best Supplier Company Pivot, sponsored by Silent Noize Events, was won by Autograph Sound. The company won the award for its Stadium Sound, an immersive crowd atmosphere system that was dynamically controlled in real-time to behind-closed-doors football games.

The Best Drive-In Event was won by Silverstone Lapland by VHE Worldwide. The festive event, which also included a drive-in cinema experience, allowed customers to drive their own vehicle around one lap of the Silverstone circuit.

The Best Online Festival was won by Warner Music UK Summertime Festival. The virtual event by Forta Productions was filmed at the Theatre Royal Haymarket with a live chat feature and headliners Biffy Clyro, Jay1, The Vamps, Birdy and The Magic Gang.

The Staff Welfare Award, sponsored by Pop-up-Pubs, was won by Actavo Events. The award was given to recognise companies that supported the mental health, wellbeing and safety of their staff during furlough, lockdown, working from home and return to work.

Images: Paul Stuart. Main image: Mash Media