Edinburgh lands top international award for festivals and events

Edinburgh has become the only British city to win a major international award recognising its world-leading reputation for festivals and events.

Scotland's capital city has been named 'Top Global City' (category: city populations 100,000 to 500,000) in the inaugural IFEA World Festival & Event City awards, which were presented during the 55th Annual IFEA Convention & Expo in Saint Louis, Missouri, United States on 16 September 2010.

The new IFEA World Festival & Event City Award was designed and created as a way for the global festivals and events industry to openly encourage, support and recognize positive local environments for festivals and events worldwide.

Festivals and events create tremendous community and economic capital in the markets that they serve, but the partnership with and support from the local community, at all levels, is critical to the success and sustainability of existing festivals and events, as well as the ability to attract and encourage new events.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion for the City of Edinburgh, said: "This is wonderful news and a tremendous achievement for Edinburgh, the World's Festivals Capital. Every year, we welcome more than a million visitors to Scotland's Capital city. People flock here from all over the globe to experience the unique atmosphere of the city at festival time, to watch top level international sport, music, theatre and events and, not least, to explore Edinburgh's rich history, stunning architecture and world-beating quality of life."

Faith Liddell, Director of Festivals Edinburgh, said: "Edinburgh's Festivals are Scotland's world-class cultural brand with an international reputation and appeal unmatched by any other cultural event on the globe. We are delighted that their pre-eminence has been recognised through this award."

Steven Wood Schmader CFEE, IFEA President, said: "The IFEA is pleased to recognize and fly the flag of those cities and markets who have worked, through concerted efforts, to provide an environment conducive to successful festivals and events. Through this award, the IFEA hopes to create a dialogue between events and cities around the world, at a time when each needs to be supporting the other more than ever. The quality of all the entries paints a bright picture for our industry and those cities recognized with this award are helping to build a strong foundation and example that we hope all cities, globally, will work to emulate."

City entries were judged by an international panel of industry experts and divided into population categories and global region. Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Europe and the North American regions were included in the first judging round and Africa, Latin America and the Middle East will be judged in December.

Each city entry was considered based upon a compilation of detailed information in the following areas:

  • Community Overview - providing the judges with a better understanding of each community and the infrastructure in place to host and/or support those producing and attending festivals and events.
  • Community Festivals & Events - providing the judges with an understanding of the diversity and success of current festivals and events that serve each market's city residents and visitors.
  • City / Government Support of Festivals & Events - helping the judges to understand the strength and depth of support by each applicant City and other area governmental bodies (County, State, taxing districts, etc.) as it pertains to festivals and events.
  • Non-Governmental Community Support of Festivals & Events - helping the judges to understand the commitment to festivals and events and direct support provided by community individuals and non-governmental organizations. Without this type of support most festivals and events could not achieve the level of success that these important partnerships help to build.
  • Market Leveraging of the "Community Capital" Created by Festivals & Events - helping the judges to understand how the City and its non-governmental partners maximize the branding and marketing images/opportunities provided by local festivals and events to leverage return in other areas; and
  • An Extra Credit section giving each city the opportunity to highlight additional programs, services, and event-related resources that were not covered in the areas above (local University degree programs in Event Management, local certified professionals, shared event-resource programmes, etc.)

2010 IFEA World Festival & Event City Award Recipients for city populations of 100,000 - 500,000

  • Edinburgh, Scotland - Top Global City
  • Norfolk, Virginia, United States - Top North American City
  • Jinju City, Gyeongsangnam-do, Korea - Top Asian City (tie)
  • Boryeong City, Chungcheongnam-do - Top Asian City (tie)

Festivals Edinburgh

Festivals Edinburgh is the high-level organization, created and managed by the directors of Edinburgh's 12 major Festivals, to take the lead on their joint strategic development. Led by Director, Faith Liddell, Festivals Edinburgh works closely with the Festivals to enable, facilitate and deliver significant projects in a number of key strategic areas: joint marketing, programming, sponsorship, technology, environmental sustainability and professional development.

Festivals Edinburgh acts on behalf of and represent the collective strengths of the Edinburgh Festivals; develop and deliver collaborative projects and initiatives which support growth, product development, leadership and audiences and help to sustain Edinburgh, the Festivals' and Scotland's pre-eminence as the World's leading festival destination.

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