The UK’s Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has announced the shortlist for the 2018 Independent Festival Awards, with its Outstanding Contribution gong going to Director of Sheffield’s Tramlines Festival Sarah Nulty, who tragically passed away after a short illness aged 36 earlier this year.
Taking place on Tuesday, November 6 at 92 Burton Road in Sheffield, this year’s winners will be announced during an awards ceremony hosted by Glastonbury Festival’s Ben Challis, as part of the AIF’s annual flagship Festival Congress event.
The Act of Independence award will be given to Meltdown festival for replacing Frightened Rabbit’s set at the event with a panel on mental health awareness and the music industry, following the death of singer Scott Hutchison earlier this year.
The Forest Sessions at 2000trees; the Main Stage at Elrow Town; Abandoned Chapel at Lost Village; Paradise Heights at Boomtown; and the Data Mine at Shambala are all up for the Unique Festival Arena award this year.
Magical Festival, El Dorado, Black Deer, Houghton and Arcadia London are all in the running for New Festival On The Block, while Dream Wife, Henge, The Blue Planet In Concert With The Halle Orchestra, Shame, and Barney Artist are nominated for the Live Act of the Year award.
Nominees across other categories include Lost Village, Kendal Calling and 2000trees.
“We are all so proud that sarah has received this award. never was it more deserved”
Timm cleasby, tramlines festival
AIF CEO Paul Reed said: “The Independent Festival Awards are now an annual fixture and a true celebration of the creativity and innovation taking place across the independent festival industry.
“It feels fitting, in our first year in Sheffield, to honour Sarah Nulty with the Outstanding Contribution award, not only for her tireless work ethic and incredible achievements with Tramlines but the wider contribution that she made to the independent festival world and what Sarah meant to our community. See you in Sheffield.”
Tramlines Operations Director Timm Cleasby said: “We are all so proud that Sarah has received this award and never was it more deserved. To be recognised by her peers for all her hard work, drive and determination, is a true honour to her memory, and to the legacy she’s left behind in Tramlines.”
Commenting on the Act of Independence award, Bengi Ünsal, Senior Contemporary Music Programmer at London’s Southbank Centre, said: “We are incredibly honoured and humbled to receive this award. After hearing the news of Scott Hutchison’s death, instead of leaving the Queen Elizabeth Hall un-programmed and keeping the issue in the dark, we wanted to use the space and the platform of Meltdown festival to bring people together and shine a light on the worryingly common issues of mental health across the music industry. I am grateful to this year’s curator Robert Smith and to the wider Southbank Centre team for making it happen, and to the bravely candid panellists for sharing their experiences.”
The Independent Festival Awards shortlist 2018:
Outstanding Contribution: Sarah Nulty (Tramlines) (pictured)
Act of Independence: Meltdown Festival – Mental health panel in replacement of Frightened Rabbit performance.
New Festival on the Block (In association with Marcato)
Unique Festival Arena
Forest Sessions at 2000trees
Main Stage at Elrow Town
Abandoned Chapel at Lost Village
The Data Mine at Shambala
Paradise Heights at Boomtown Fair
Live Act of the Year
The Blue Planet in Concert with the Halle Orchestra
Festival Caterer of the Year (In association with NCASS)
Smokin’ Hot Tamales
The Peckish Peacock
Smart Marketing Campaign
The Red Stars – Kendal Calling
‘Making Waves’ video game – Deer Shed
20th Birthday ‘Nozstalgia’ theme – Nozstock
Promotional videos – Lost Village
Renaming the event the ‘Gareth Southgate’ festival – TruckMusic Business Worldwide