As any European will know, the continent is host to some of the best music festivals in the world, from Romania’s Electric Castle, to Norway’s Øya Festival. These smaller venues aren’t usually given the accolades and attention that UK festivals like Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds do, or American festivals like Coachella.
However, in ceremonies such as the Arthur Awards, ‘the live music industry’s equivalent of the Oscars’ according to IQ Magazine, international festivals have the chance to be given the recognition they deserve. This month, France’s Les Eurockeennes was given the 2020 Arthur Award for ‘Best International Music Festival’, beating the likes of the better-known foreign festivals like Belgium’s Rock Werchter and Japan’s Summer Sonic. This is a great leap forward for Les Eurockeennes, and European music festivals in general, as it seems they are now being recognised as worthy competitors of UK and US-based music festivals.
The 26th annual Arthur Awards were held in London, and take place as part of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), rewarding the best and brightest in the live music industry in 11 categories. Other awards include Best Venue, Best Promoter and New Gig on the Block.
Les Eurockeennes is an independent multi-genre music festival in Eastern France, whose 2020 line-up includes Foals, DJ Snake, the Lumineers and Cage the Elephant. Its attendance has increased tenfold from 10,000 in its first year, 1989, to over 100,000 in 2018.
Figures have shown that, in recent years, festival-goers have increasingly opted for European music festivals, making the sojourn abroad to see their favourite acts live. According to data gathered by Festicket, the number of festival attendees who travelled abroad increased by 29% in 2018. Hungary alone experienced a 773% growth in festival attendees, closely followed by Spain and Portugal, whose attendance grew by 132% and 127%.
These trends indicate that physical distance between festivals no longer matter as much to the attendees; decreasing airline fees also make it more appealing for people to go abroad to see their favourite acts – and potentially catch some sunshine as well!