EVERY year the UK Festival Awards brings together a menagerie of industry folk to eat, drink and celebrate the ingenuity, innovation and flat out hard work of the people who make all of our wonderful large-scale music events happen. DLTM were lucky enough to be invited to the show, which took place at The Roundhouse in Camden, north London, rubbing shoulders with a variety of characters from the festival world and paying our respects to the people who keep the whole festival industry relevant and progressive…

The Roundhouse acts as a great location for the UK Festival Awards. The shape of the main room combined with its acoustics means the glitzy affair (which we were a little under dressed for) and its attendees are housed in an impressive though somehow quite intimate space. After a lovely dinner Huey Morgan of the Fun Loving Criminals sidled on to the stage and gave a hilarious opening speech outlining that he’d be announcing all the winners as quickly as he could (“Last year it took me 33 minutes, anyone with a stopwatch? Let’s see if I can beat that”) so everyone could get to the after-party as soon as possible. Brilliant, he also gave a cheeky shout out to Eddie Izzard, who would later present the Outstanding Contribution to Festivals award to Peter Gabriel for conceiving WOMAD… “Don’t do coke with that bitch… Yeah, it’s gonna be like that,” he said, referring to Eddie and on it went in a similar vein throughout the ceremony, much to the amusement of everyone in attendance. Huey’s nonchalant, irreverent approach was the perfect antidote to the typical schmaltz that can often creep in to awards events.

Arcadia won the award for 'Best Use of New Technology' at the UK Festival Awards, held at The Roundhouse in Camden, north London
Arcadia won the award for ‘Best Use of New Technology’
DLTM's Marcus Barnes with Ceri Wade from Arcadia
DLTM’s Marcus Barnes with Ceri Wade from Arcadia

Midway through the show we spent a bit of time chatting with Jonny, one of the team behind a mobile pop-up festival bar called Beetle Juice, which is a cocktail contained within a converted VW camper van. They’re ethos is to provide top quality cocktails and healthy juices to festival goers, and so far they’ve traveled the length and breadth of the country to do so. We’re off the booze this month but enjoyed a very fruity concoction made by Jonny himself – look out for them, as the company now has 12 fully-functional VW bars on the road.

Beetle Juice served up cocktails all night at the UK Festival Awards, held at The Roundhouse in Camden, north London
Beetle Juice served up cocktails all night

And so the awards were given out in record time, the first of which went to Bristol’s amazing Arcadia outfit – one of whom we happened to be sat with on our table. The company was awarded for ‘Best Use of New Technology’. They use a special kind of ‘bio fuel’ (used chip fat) for all of their pyrotechnics, in place of propane, which they used previously. So a well deserved prize we reckon. Beyond that, the list of winners came thick and fast. Notable winners include Kendal Calling for the highly-coveted ‘Best Toilets’ award, Mark Ronson for ‘Anthem of the Summer’ with Bruno Mars on Uptown Funk, Fleetwood Mac for ‘Headline Performance of the Year’ (at the Isle Of Wight Festival), Creamfields for ‘Best Dance Festival’, Festival No.6 for ‘Best Small Festival’ and the big winner was Bestival for ‘Best Major Festival’.

Peter Gabriel accepts the 'Outstanding Contribution to Festivals' award
Peter Gabriel accepts the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Festivals’ award

The real treat came at the end when Eddie Izzard presented Peter Gabriel with his award and Peter invited all his team up on stage with him, followed by a video documenting the history of WOMAD and its connection with musicians and artists from all over the world. A very worthy winner indeed, Peter’s work with the arts festival has undoubtedly helped to promote the music of thousands of, largely unknown, musicians to western audiences, a fantastic achievement.

See the full list of winners below.

Eddie Izzard with Peter Gabriel at the UK Festival Awards, held at The Roundhouse in Camden, north London
Eddie Izzard with Peter Gabriel after presenting him with the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Festivals’ award

Best Use of New Technology
WINNER: Glastonbury for Arcadia Spectacular

The Extra-Festival Activity Award
WINNER: The Big Feastival for The Wheat Project

Concession of the Year
WINNER: The Breakfast Club

Best Hospitality
WINNER: Wilderness

Best Toilets
WINNER: Kendal Calling

The Brand Activation Award
WINNER: Virgin Trains

Agency of the Year

Promoter of the Year
WINNER: Lost Ventures

Anthem of the Summer
WINNER: Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk

Headline Performance of the Year
WINNER: Fleetwood Mac at Isle Of Wight Festival

Line-Up of the Year
WINNER: Latitude

Best New Festival
WINNER: Wild Life Festival

Best Festival for Emerging Talent
WINNER: Liverpool International Music Festival

The Grass Roots Festival Award
WINNER: Beautiful Days

Best Overseas Festival
WINNER: Annie Mac Presents: Lost & Found

Best Metropolitan Festival
WINNER: Liverpool Sound City

Best Dance Event
WINNER: Creamfields

Best Family Festival
WINNER: Isle Of Wight Festival

Best Non-Music Festival
WINNER: Eroica Britannia

Best Small Festival
WINNER: Festival Number 6

Best Medium-Sized Festival
WINNER: Y Not Festival

Best Major Festival
WINNER: Bestival

The Outstanding Contribution to Festivals Award
WINNER: Peter Gabriel