Independent Festival Awards to honour Tramlines' Sarah Nulty

Independent Festival Awards to honour Tramlines' Sarah Nulty

09 October 2018

Gearing up for its fifth annual Festival Congress, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has announced the shortlist for the 2018 Independent Festival Awards.

Taking place on Tuesday 6 November 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 event.

The Outstanding Contribution Award will be posthumously given to Tramlines Festival Director Sarah Nulty, who tragically passed away after a short illness aged 36 earlier this year.
There are seven awards categories in total, designed to recognise the hard work and success of the most innovative events in the industry, including ‘New Festival on the Block’, ‘Unique Festival Arena’, ‘Smart Marketing Campaign’ and ‘Live Act of the Year’. 
The Act of Independence award will be awarded to Meltdown festival for replacing Frightened Rabbit’s set at the festival 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 2000 Trees, 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. 

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.” 

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.” 

The Awards will be followed by an aftershow silent disco at Yellow Arch Studios. This year, AIF’s Festival Congress is expected to play host to over 400 delegates and will be centred around an ‘Under the sea’ theme as a follow up to AIF’s Drastic on Plastic campaign earlier in the year. The first day of the conference will take place at The Crucible Theatre, with the second day hosted at Showroom Cinema.  

Over 40 speakers are confirmed for the conference this year- including keynotes from Secret Cinema Founder Fabien Riggall, Shangri-la Creative Director Kaye Dunnings, author Rob Chapman and marine biologist Dr. Kerry Howell. 

Final speakers for the programme are now confirmed, including Snowbombing Event Manager Joanna Leljevahl and Liverpool Sound City MD Rebecca Ayres. See the complete schedule and list of speakers at   

Attendees of the Congress include notable festival organisers from the likes of Glastonbury, Boomtown Fair, Kendal Calling, Shambala, End of the Road and many more. 

For further information on AIF’s Festival Congress and the  Independent Festival Awards visit