With the 13th edition of the European Festival Awards set to take place on January 17th in Groningen, The Netherlands the European Festival Awards is proud to announce that this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Ruud Berends. He is the co-founder and Head of Agenda of IFF in London (GB) and advisor for Westway Lab in Guimaraes (PT), Canadian Music Week in Toronto (CA), and SoAlive Music Conference in Sofia (BG). From 2002 till 2018 Ruud was project manager of the various Dutch Music Export organisations and executive producer of the Dutch Impact Parties for Buma Cultuur. From 2002 to March 2023, he worked for Buma Cultuur & ESNS as Head of Conference, ETEP & CEETEP, international marketing and sales. In this position, Ruud Berends was crucial for the networking and interconnection of European artists and promoters alike – especially the European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP) at Eurosonic was his brainchild.

In a previous life, Ruud also was co-founder, dj, cook, promoter and toilet cleaner of youth Centre Débarak in Zutphen and co-founder and co-owner of International Booking Agency Paperclip who broke the new and alternative scene into the eye of the mainstream throughout the 80’s and early 90’s. The agency took loads of bands on tour all over Europe, too many to mention – but Soundgarden, Nirvana and Mudhoney and their contemporaries were all part of the hustle.

“Life is full of surprises. I did not know that I was up for an award. I am deeply honoured, humbled and grateful to have won the Lifetime Achievement Award. Especially, as it is at the European Festival Awards, an event close to my heart. It means a lot to get this award from this part of the music industry with many friends and music industry family in the room.” says Ruud Berends.

Congratulations to Ruud Berends and thank you for dedicating your professional life and beyond to connecting artists and the music industry in general!

Furthermore, we’re announcing the shortlists for 12 of the ceremony’s categories. Over 50’000 votes have been cast for the 2023 European Festival Awards in the main public categories. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to all of those who applied, voted and otherwise participated in the Awards this year.

European Festival Awards, c/o YOUROPE, Auguststr. 18, 53229 Bonn, Germany,

Tickets for the Award Ceremony, set to take place on January 17th 2024 at de Oosterpoort in Groningen, The Netherlands are already going fast. There are two different ticket options:

6.00pm – 6.45pm: Welcome Drink & Seating in the Grote Zaal
7.00pm – 8.45pm: Three-course sit down dinner with drinks
9.00pm – 10.45pm: European Festival Awards Ceremony
11.30pm – 2.00am: After show party, Location: TBA

A tribune seat at the Award Ceremony (Dinner and drinks excluded) 9.00pm – 10.45pm: European Festival Awards CeremonyBuy Tickets

Now, without further ado, here are the shortlists:

The Brand Activation AwardHeroes & Hype Festivals & Unilever Axe, DE
Montreux Jazz Festival & Audemars Piguet, CH
Rock for People & Komerční Banka, CZ
Ruisrock Festival & UFF, FI
Superbloom Festival & FC Bayern München x adidas, DE
Untold & Regina Maria, RO

The Take a Stand Award
Presented by: Take a Stand

Provinssi, FI
Pohoda Festival, SK
Roskilde Festival, DK
Sonraìz, ES
Sziget Festival, HU

The Green Operations Award
Presented by: GO Group

Boom Festival, PT
Department Festival, SE
Roskilde Festival, DK
The Green Gathering, GB
We love Green, FR

The Event Safety Award
Presented by: YES Group

Happiness Festival, DE
OpenAir St.Gallen, CH
Pohoda Festival, SK
Pol’and’Rock Festival, PL
Rocco del Schlacko Festival, DE

Promoter of the Year

Alias, FR
Alter Art, PL
Artmania, RO
FKP Scorpio, DE
Gadget abc Entertainment, CH Mad Cool, ES
Oya Festivalen, NO
Primavera Sound, ES
Roskilde Festival, DK
Sziget Cultural Management, HU

Agent of the Year

Anne Bewers – Wasserman Music
Chalie Myatt – 13 Artists
David Bradley – WME
Etienne Ziller – Astérios Spectacles
James Whitting – Wasserman Music
Jon Ollier – One Fiinix
Jules De Lattre – UTA
Steve Zapp – ITB
Summer Marshall – ITB
Tom Schroeder – Wasserman Music

The Award for Excellence and Passion

Alexander Schulz, DE
Anders Wahren, DK
Claire O’Neill, GB
Eric van Eerdenburg, NL
Maiju Talvisto, FI
Michal Thomes, CZ
Nika Brunet Milunovic, SI
Nikos Loris, GR
Stephan Thanscheidt, DE
Vlad Yaremchuk, UA

Newcomer of the Year
Presented by: ESNS

Balming Tiger, KR
Boygenius, US
Cat Burns, GB
David Kushner, US
Skaar, NO
Son Mieux, NL
Talk, CA
The Haunted Youth, BE
Wizkid, NG
Yard Act, GB

Line-Up of the Year
Presented by: IQ Magazine

Glastonbury, GB
Lowlands, NL
Mad Cool, ES
Open’er Festival, PL
Øya Festivalen, NO
Primavera Sound, ES
Rock en Seine, FR
Rock Werchter, BE
Roskilde Festival, DK
Sziget Festival, HU

Best Small Festival

Flash Festival Tuscany, IT
Focus in the Park, RO
Inota Festival, HU
Jazz in der Park, RO
Le Guess Who? Festival, NL
Maifeld Derby, DE
Noches del Botânico, ES
Sharpe Festival & Conference, SK
Sofia Live Festival, BG
Stars in Town, CH

Best Medium-Sized Festival

Bilbao BBK Live, ES
Clout Festival, PL
Codru Festival, RO
Heineken Balaton Sound, HU
Lovefest, RS
Montreux Jazz Festival, CH
Nostalgia Retro/Disco/Duture, RO
Orange Warsaw Festival, PL
Pohoda Festival, SK
Rock for People, CZ

Best Major Festival
Presented by: See Tickets

Beats for Love, CZ
Colours of Ostrava, CZ
Electric Castle, RO
Hurricane Festival, DE
Nature One, DE
Neversea Festival, RO
Open’er Festival, PL
Primavera Sound, ES
Sònar, ES
Ultra Europe, HR

The Lifetime Achievement Award
Ruud Berends, NL

Nikki McNeill | Global Publicity