Since a couple of years the first night of Groningen’s Eurosonic Noorderslag is the night when the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA) and the European Festival Awards (EFA) are celebrated. Not only that the best European music festivals, artists and promoters of 2012 were revealed at a sold-out ceremony, also some of the hottest new European artists like C2C from France, BERNHOFT from Norway and JAKE BUGG from the UK (who recently won best new comer at the UK Festival Awards) played a some of their songs at the ceremony.
The decisions who wins in the specific categories were made by a combination of public vote and industry juries. The European Festival Awards is the only event solely dedicated to recognising the contributions and achievements of the event organisers and performing artists that generate billions of Euros for local economies and brighten up the summer for tens of millions of festival-goers each year.
So January 2013 was the time for 2012’s awards were a celebration of triumph over adversity in the wake of a challenging year, which has seen the festival market shaken by economic instability, claims of saturation, some high profile cancellations and the some of the wettest weather on record.
Over one million public votes showed that there is a huge passion for festivals in Europe and that the continent has never been stronger. Further the European Festival Awards showed that the festival sector might be one of the few in the music industry that does quite good – and obviously is doing better than during the past years. For the first time in Festival Awards history, electronic music arose to take the crown for Best Major Festival, courtesy of Belgium’s Tomorrowland widely hailed as the festival success story of the year. Dance music also triumphed in the categories for Best Indoor Festival (Sensation, Netherlands) and Best New Festival (Germany’s Electro Magnetic).
The award for the Best Medium-Sized Festival was won by Heineken Balaton Sound in Hungary, which is the smaller version of Sziget Festival (last year’s Best Major Festival winner). The title for Best Small Festival was won by Tauron New Music Festival (Poland) – the festival that took place in an old coal mine not only highlightens the creativity and diversity of Europe’s contemporary modern festival landscape, it also won the prize back in 2010.
And which festival had the best Line-Up and Artists? The prize was taken by the huge and established giants Rock am Ring / Rock im Park (Germany) and Roskilde (Denmark). Roskilde also announced the first headlining band’s of 2013’s edition: SLIPPKNOT, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE and SIGUR RÓS – a lot more will be announced soon. The two most important industry-facing awards were both taken back by Belgium – Pukkelpop was declared as Promoter Of The Year – a great praise for the festival after the tragedy-curse that was on the event when it was hit by a freak storm in 2011. Further Herman Schueremans from the country’s division of Live Nation received the Lifetime Achievement Award – a man who did a lot to bring live music to Belgium.
Although the European Festival Awards is a European award, also the USA managed to win an award – the FOO FIGHTERS were voted as Headliner Of The Year. LYKKE LI‘s song I Follow Rivers from Sweden was chosen by the crowd as Festival Anthem Of The Year.
And the winner of the evening? Well, definitely OF MONSTERS AND MEN who won the award for Best Newcomer – and earlier that evening the Not content with just winning an award at the European Border Breaker Awards in the same town earlier that evening the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA). They are border breakers and without any doubt Iceland’s most promising music exports of these days – especially when it comes to major music. And that is what these awards are mainly about, major things that reach huge amounts of people. And who is surprised that in a voting the acts with the most fans win? Probably no-one is suprised by that. But it can be taken for granted that these guys deserve the prize.
List of winners
Awards decided by online public vote
BEST MAJOR FESTIVAL
BEST MEDIUM-SIZED FESTIVAL
Heineken Balaton Sound (Hungary)
BEST SMALL FESTIVAL
Tauron New Music Festival (Poland)
HEADLINER OF THE YEAR
Foo Fighters (USA)
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Of Monsters And Men (Iceland)
BEST EUROPEAN FESTIVAL LINE-UP
Rock Am Ring / Rock Im Park (Germany)
BEST INDOOR FESTIVAL
FESTIVAL ANTHEM OF THE YEAR
Lykke Li – I Follow Rivers (Sweden)
BEST NEW FESTIVAL
Electro Magnetic (Germany)[/one_half]
Winners chosen by an industry jury (prominent journalists, booking agents, managers, artists and promoters)
THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Herman Schueremans (Live Nation Belgium)
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
ARTISTS FAVOURITE FESTIVAL
GREEN OPERATIONS AWARD
We Love Green (France)