Shambala and Greenbelt win accolades at festival awards

Womb With A View at Shambala
Womb With A View at Shambala

Two Northamptonshire festivals won awards at this week’s Independent Festival Award ceremony.

Shambala won the Unique Festival Arena award for its Womb With A View while Greenbelt won the Act Of Independence award. Both festivals take place in Northamptonshire.

Womb With A View was an interactive art installation for people who have always dreamed of donning an egg hat, tunnelling through a fallopian tube and partying with a bunch of human-size sperm, in a giant, squidgy womb.

Festival goers could try their hand at a spot of Wombeoke or the Humb-lyrical-chord open mic night, before being ceremoniously reborn through the psychedelic birth canal.

Shambala beat competition from The Cineramageddon area at Glastonbury, the Happy Kanye micro venue at Bestival, Mirracocco Luminarium at Bluedot, Cinderella’s Motel at Standon Calling and The Outlands at End of The Road.

This year’s theme at Greenbelt was The Common Good.

Organisers said: “Now, more than ever, we need to be using our festivals as spaces for escape and re-creation, yes, but also for re-imagination – inspiring our festivalgoers to return to their workaday worlds more fully human, more fully who they are – unique, individual, beautiful, precious, gifted, agents of change.

“We’re so chuffed to get this award from the AIF. We accept it on behalf of all those living lives of beautiful resistance in the face of oppression, occupation and creeping apartheid in Palestine-Israel.

“And on behalf of all the millions upon millions of peaceful, generous, creative Muslims here in the UK and across the world who are too often scapegoated as ‘The Other’ in our strange and vexed world.”

Other winners this year were Secret Garden Party for Best Smart Marketing, Aespia for New Festival on the block, IDLES won best Live Act of the Year, Nozstock’s The Hidden Valley won the Mind Blowing Spectacle award and Mappy Maki won Festival Caterer of the Year.

General manager of the AIF, Paul Reed said: “The Independent Festival Awards was an outstanding celebration.

“It is always a tough call with such a strong shortlist and this reflects the abundance of creativity and imagination fuelling this inspiring and growing sector. Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees.”

The Association of Independent Festivals is the UK’s leading festival representational body.

Founded in 2008, it operates as an autonomous division of the Association of Independent Music.

Members range from the 1,500-capacity Barn on the Farm to the 60,000 capacity Boomtown Fair and include the likes of Bestival, Shambala, Victorious, End of the Road, Festival No.6, Kendal Calling and many more.

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