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Gearing up for its fifth annual Festival Congress, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has announced the shortlist for the 2018 Independent Festival Awards.

The Outstanding Contribution Award will be posthumously given to Tramlines Festival director Sarah Nulty, who tragically passed away after a short illness aged 36 earlier this year.   

Taking place on Tuesday 6 November at 92 Burton Road in Sheffield, this year’s winners will be announced during an awards ceremony hosted by Glastonbury Festival’s Ben Challis, as part of the AIF’s annual flagship event. 

There are seven awards categories, designed to recognise the hard work and success of the most innovative events in the industry, including ‘New Festival On The Block’, ‘Unique Festival Arena’, ‘Smart Marketing Campaign’ and ‘Live Act of the Year’.

AIF CEO Paul Reed said: “The Independent Festival Awards are now an annual fixture and a true celebration of the creativity and innovation taking place across the independent festival industry”

“It feels fitting in our first year in Sheffield to honour Sarah Nulty with the Outstanding Contribution award, not only for her tireless work ethic and incredible achievements with Tramlines but the wider contribution that she made to the independent festival world and what Sarah meant to our community. See you in Sheffield”.    

Tramlines operations director Timm Cleasby said: “We are all so proud that Sarah has received this award and never was it more deserved. To be recognised by her peers for all her hard work, drive and determination, is a true honour to her memory, and to the legacy she’s left behind in Tramlines”.

The Awards will be followed by an aftershow silent disco at Yellow Arch Studios.   

This year, AIF’s Festival Congress is expected to play host to over 400 delegates and will be centred around an ‘Under the sea’ theme as a follow up to AIF’s Drastic on Plastic campaign earlier in the year. The first day of the conference will take place at The Crucible Theatre, with the second day hosted at Showroom Cinema.