The 17th edition of the UK Festival Awards is to take place at a new location of Manchester’s Escape to Freight Island on 6 December.

Organisers Festival Insights said it is expecting record numbers of votes, with the public having the say in more awards categories than ever. The awards will be decided by either fan votes, expert panel, or a combination of both. Ticketmaster will be official ticketing partner for the fifth year running.

Categories at the awards include Best Major Festival, Outstanding Contribution, and for one year only, the Perfect Pivot Award for the festival business that pivoted to alternative activity during the Covid-19 closure.

Ticketmaster UK managing director Andrew Parsons said, “Festivals are a cornerstone of UK culture and it’s so important we recognise the hardworking people behind the scenes who make them happen. Manchester is the perfect host city – home to so many artists, venues and teams central to the festival ecosystem.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said, “Everyone in Greater Manchester knows the massive global impact this place has had on music and culture, so it’s fitting to see the UK Festival Awards coming to the true home of 24-hour party people.

“After what’s been an exceptionally tough time for festivals and the hospitality industry, it’s really important that we get behind the sector and recognise the many people – from organisers, to caterers, to volunteers – who deliver everything from boutique independent events to some of the biggest shows on earth.”

Greater Manchester Night Time Economy adviser and Parklife festival founder Sacha Lord said, “Now in its 19th year, I’m absolutely delighted that they have chosen Manchester as this year’s host. A city that’s known for its rich tapestry of festivals, the acknowledgement is testament to everyone behind the scenes that make them happen.”