FestForums Convergence, a bi-annual Festival Industry conference occurring in NYC and Santa Barbara has awarded the 2016 festival industry awards at “Best of the Fests”.

The awards are given to festivals for their stellar efforts in sustainability, charitable works and innovation.

Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Michael Lang, Bruce Dern and Chef Gilles Epié.

Music legend Rita Coolidge was honored as the Champion of Music. Recording artist Jack Johnson and his wife Kim Johnson were honored for their contribution to promoting Sustainability at events.

In accepting the award for Sustainability, Jack Johnson had this to say “It’s an honor to receive the FestForums Sustainability Award. The conference was a perfect opportunity to further conversations and inspire people to take the next steps in greening festivals across the country. There are so many amazing events around the world which have made a strong commitment to sustainability and have been successful in engaging festival-goers in environmental action. I’m excited to be a part of these conversations and see these changes happening in the festival community.”

Rita Coolidge was presented with the Champion of Music Award by The Supreme’s Mary Wilson after performing many heartwarming numbers at the conference. Michael Lang (Woodstock), actor Bruce Dern, and chef Gilles Epié were awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards for Music, Film, and Food & Beverage, respectively. Lang was interviewed by Simon Rust Lamb as the conference’s opening keynote. Bruce Dern regaled the audience with many of his entertaining anecdotes and life experiences as the closing keynote. Chef Epié was one of 6 celebrity chefs at The James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour Charity Dinner held after the awards ceremony.

Outfest, Merlefest, and Made in the Shade festivals were awarded for the charitable contributions. Cinema Verde, Green Music Fest, and Santa Barbara Earth Day were awarded for their efforts in sustainability. Hip Hop Film Fest, California WorldFest, and the Great American Beer Fest were recognized for their innovation. Rock the Green was awarded the Convergence Award. HBO was nominated as Best Sponsor Partner to a Festival.

The “Best of the Fests” Award Ceremony is an annual celebration of the Festival Industry in Santa Barbara, CA. The Awards mark the end of a three day conference, FestForums, which is an experiential Festival networking convergence of music, film, food & beverage with a special focus on sustainability, charity and technology.

For more information, visit FestForums.com.

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