Honour will be presented amongst a host of awards from Best Major Festival to Headline Performance Of The Year and many more in Groningen, The Netherlands

On Wednesday 14th January 2015 the annual European Festival Awards will see one of the UK’s most distinguished event promoters receive the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

As the driving force behind Latitude and Reading & Leeds Festivals and overseas events including Electric Picnic, Benicassim, Hove and Berlin Festival, Benn’s vast experience of staging the best in entertainment events also made him instrumental in turning around the fortunes of Glastonbury Festival, as its licensee for a decade.

In addition, Benn has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of Wembley Stadium since May 2011, sits as a representative on the Concert Promoters Association (CPA), was influential in re-writing the Guide to Health and Safety at Outdoor Events (‘the Pop Code’) and makes regular presentations to the Emergency Planning College, the police and other bodies.

Benn is one of only two Britons to have been honoured with this award, the other being Michael Eavis (in 2011). Other past recipients include Jan Smeets (Netherlands), Leif Skov (Denmark), Herman Schueremans (Belgium) and Marek Lieberberg (Germany).

Melvin Benn comments: “I’m very flattered and honoured to receive this prestigious award and join an incredible line-up of previous winners. I work with the best in the business and couldn’t do what I do without a really strong team around me; my thanks go to all those individuals past and present who’ve helped to make our events what they are. I’m hugely passionate about our industry and every day continues to excite me as we push the boundaries of the festival experience and create lifelong memories for music fans and audiences.”

Steve Jenner, Festival Awards director and co-founder says: “Melvin Benn’s signature has, for a long time, been engraved deeper than any other’s into the shape and character of the UK’s major festival market. This takes the form of a unique and unequalled blend of operational preeminence and heartfelt passion for his events and audiences, one which continues to set new standards in production, safety and sustainability that extend tangibly well beyond his own events. It’s a great testament to Melvin that his commitment and contributions are now being recognised at a Continental level, and it is an honour for us to be the ones presenting this award.”

What others say…

Herman Schueremans, CEO, Live Nation Belgium:Melvin Benn is a super-professional and humble human being, open to learning from and helping other festivals. Congratulations to Melvin for his Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution to what festivals are today: a gathering of people that unite to enjoy music with their friends.”

Paul Latham, COO, Live Nation UK & Ireland:If you think festivals you think Melvin Benn. No-one else is more synonymous with a genre of our business. He lives and breathes to deliver bigger and better for his audiences wherever they may be. Can`t think of a bad word to say about him (apart from his bloody football team!)”

Stefan Lehmkuhl, director, Melt and Berlin Festivals: “Well deserved to Melvin Benn. I’m happy to play in his team alongside the other great team players he carefully recruits under his management which can be tough but is always fair, whether music or football, I guess. As nasty as this business can be at times, this man is driven in a very positive way and adds ethos, heart and professionalism to a whole industry.”

Allan McGowan, ILMC:Melvin Benn is widely recognised as a man of strong principles and abilities who has contributed much to the evolution of the modern music festival market in the UK .and beyond. Besides organising some of the sector’s most successful events, he has worked tirelessly with industry associations and regional and national authorities seeking innovation and improvement in Health and Safety, Environmental Issues and all aspects of the festival experience for the benefit of all involved.”

The EUROPEAN FESTIVAL AWARDS, presented in association with YOUROPE and Eurosonic Noorderslag, will return in the New Year to celebrate the successes of Europe’s music festival industry. The gala award show will open Eurosonic Noorderslag in style on Wednesday 14th January 2015 at De Oosterpoort in Groningen, The Netherlands.

Throughout the evening titles spanning from ‘Best Major Festival’, ‘Artists’ Favourite Festival’, ‘Promoter Of The Year’ to ‘Anthem Of The Summer’ will be handed out to the great and good of the festival world.

Decided by a combination of public vote and industry juries, the European Festival Awards are the only pan-European body solely dedicated to recognising the contributions and achievements of the event organisers and performing artists that generate billions of Euros for local economies and brighten up the summer for tens of millions of festival-goers each year.

This year’s European Festival Awards featured over 350 festivals from 35 different countries, with over 1.2 million votes cast.

Tickets to the event are on-sale now at eu.festivalawards.com/tickets