The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) announced the winners of the Independent Festival Awards 2019 at a packed-out event in Sheffield last week (November 6).

This year’s ceremony included eight awards designed to recognise creativity and innovation across the independent festival sector. Winners included Standon Calling (Smart Marketing), Deer Shed Festival (Never Mind the Pollocks – an award for best festival artwork) and Twisterella (In On The Ground Floor – an award for forward-thinking booking).

Former creative director of Deer Shed Festival, Megan Evans was honoured with the inaugural Backstage Hero award, designed to give recognition to unsung individuals working hard behind the scenes to deliver festivals.

Nominations were put forward to AIF’s 65 member festivals and then determined by a Festival Congress steering group vote.

The Independent Festival Awards Winners 2019:

Unique Festival Arena – The Street at Beat-Herder

Live Act of the Year (In association with PRS for Music) – KOKOKO!

Festival Caterer of the Year (In association with NCASS) – Flavors Of Africa

Smart Marketing – Standon Calling

In On The Ground Floor (In association with Marcato) – Twisterella

Never Mind The Pollocks – Deer Shed Festival

Backstage Hero – Megan Evans

European Festival – Pete the Monkey

AIF CEO Paul Reed said: “The Independent Festival Awards was a fantastic celebration and the awards ceremony felt like it had stepped up a gear with a new host, new categories and outstanding production that enhanced the overall independent festival feel of the evening.

“Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees, all of whom reiterate that the independent festival sector remains at the forefront of innovation and creativity. We’ll continue pushing forward into 2020.”

Image: Gareth Bull