Clash was at the 11th annual UK Festival Awards last night, to watch the likes of Michael Eavis and Wolf Alice pick up prizes – a lump of plastic and a bottle of vodka – for doing Excellent Things in the field of fests.
Glastonbury founder Eavis was at London’s Roundhouse to receive the award for Best Major Festival, and also to award Rob da Bank with a gong for Outstanding Contribution to Festivals. The Radio 1 DJ accepted his award, speaking quietly with Eavis for a few seconds, before having a not-so-subtle dig at some others in the room whose priorities are rather more money-related than anything else, da Bank stressing how he only ever does Bestival and its spin-off events for the love of the music. Nile Rodgers seemed to agree, his video message celebrating da Bank for putting on such a spirits-stirring weekend (or two).
Headline Performance of the Year went to The Libertines for their set at Hyde Park’s British Summer Time. Pete Doherty appeared on screen in a pre-recorded message, filmed in Thailand. Looking plump and pretty flipping out of it, playing around with what appeared to be a badminton racket and ‘strumming’ at it like a ukulele, he thanked… Someone, we’re sure. The voting public, probably. It was hard to tell, what with the slurring.
But at least Pete made an effort – Calvin Harris’s ‘Summer’ won in the Anthem of the Summer category, but the multi-millionaire DJ was nowhere to be seen, in person or via videotape. (Although he has, say reports, been suffering from ill health lately, so we can forgive his no-show.)
Elsewhere, two representatives from V Festival were on and off stage as quickly as they could be to collect the Best Toilets award, Wolf Alice won Best Breakthrough Artist, and Best Use of New Technology went the way of Manchester’s Parklife Weekender, where a “revolutionary” system was used to prevent punters getting their class-A on. And we drank all the wine.
Shout out, too, to presenter Huey Morgan. We’re not sure he was entirely sure where he was, the whole time. But he smiled, and that was just about enough.
Here are the winners in full:
Best Major Festival In association with: PlugGo
Best Medium-Sized Festival In association with: Eventbrite
We Are FSTVL
Best Small Festival
The Zoo Project Festival
Best New Festival In association with: ID&C
The Secret Festival
Best Family Festival In association with: Matthew Clark
Best Metropolitan Festival
Live at Leeds
Best Dance Event In association with: XL Video
The Grass Roots Festival Award
Best Overseas Festival In association with: Yourope
Headline Performance of the Year In association with: SnoozeBox (curated by Gigwise)
The Libertines at British Summer Time, Hyde Park
Best Breakthrough Artist In association with: Last.fm (curated by Drowned In Sound)
Anthem of the Summer In association with: Clash (that’s us!)
Calvin Harris, ‘Summer’
Line-Up Of The Year
Festival Number 6
Best Use of New Technology In association with: White Light
The Parklife Weekender – for their revolutionary portable substance-analysis system supplied by The Loop and working with Greater Manchester Police
Agency of the Year In association with: IQ Magazine (who were on our table, lovely chaps)
Concession of the Year
Goodness Gracious Healthy Foods
The Greener Festival Award In association with: Bucks New University
The Brand Activation Award In association with: The European Sponsorship Association
The Extra-Festival Activity Award In association with: Airbeem
Promoter of the Year In association with: Peppermint Bars
Rich Bryan (Bearded Theory)
The Outstanding Contribution to Festivals Award In association with: Intelligent Venue Solutions
Rob da Bank
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Photo: Pete Doherty of The Libertines, live at British Summer Time, by Rachel Lipsitz