Gearing up for it’s fourth annual Festival Congress, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has announced its Independent Festival Awards shortlist.

Taking place on October 30 at DEPOT in Cardiff, this year’s winners will be announced during an awards ceremony hosted by Glastonbury Festival’s Ben Challis, as part of the AIF’s yearly flagship event.

This year, there are eight awards categories, designed to recognise the hard work and success of the very best events in the industry, including New Festival on the Block, Unique Festival Arena, Mind Blowing Spectacle and Live Act of the Year.

The Festival Congress will be introducing a new Pioneer award for 2017, in order  to recognise and celebrate the work of an individual in the festival world who has pushed the medium forward, creating new frontiers through their event.

The inaugural Pioneer Award will be given to Secret Garden Party’s founder, Freddie Fellowes. Fellowes is a founding AIF member whose event drew to a close this year after inspiring the UK festival scene with its multi-arts, participatory approach for 13 years.

The Act of Independence award will this year go to Greenbelt Festival for its work with Amal and their new Muslim artistry venue and programme, as well as their focus on Palestinian festival programming to mark the key anniversaries in Israel-Palestine this year. This is an extension of the festival’s long-term commitment to highlighting human rights issues in the Middle East conflict through artistry, ideas and activism.

The Cineramageddon area at Glastonbury, “Happy Kanye” micro venue at Bestival, Mirracocco Luminarium at Bluedot, Cinderella’s Motel at Standon Calling, Womb With A View at Shambala and The Outlands at End of The Road are all up for Unique Festival Arena award this year.

Those in the running for other categories this year include the likes of Victorious Festival, Boomtown Fair’s Sector 6 area, Beyond the Tracks and Samphire Festival.

Paul Reed, general manager of the AIF, said: “The Independent Festival Awards will celebrate the energy and creativity coursing through the independent festival sector. We’re also extremely proud to this year acknowledge Freddie Fellowes as a truly inspirational pioneer who has contributed to the evolution of independent festivals on numerous levels with Secret Garden Party. We look forward to another memorable awards and party in Cardiff.”