Glas-Denbury Music and Arts Festival flies the flag for Devon and small  festivals as they win Bronze for “Festival of the Year” at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards! 

The ceremony was held at the Bristol Aerospace Museum on Thursday 7th February, under the wings of Alpha Foxtrot Concorde, in the year that marks 50 years since Concorde’s maiden flight from Toulouse on 2nd March 1969 and the first British flight taking place from Filton on 9th April 1969. The ecstatic team received their award from Captain Les Brodie, the last Captain to fly Concorde and the Met Office, sponsors of the “Festival of the Year” category.

A record 651 entries were received from the region, including Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bath, Bristol, Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with over 50 judges spent weeks pouring over entry forms, studying website and review sites, looking at use of social media and carrying out 472 business visits, most of them unannounced mystery visits. Reports and recommendations were then submitted to an independent panel which made the final decisions.

These judges based their decisions on evidence of not just “good” but of “excellent” – hence to win GOLD is a very significant achievement for Glas-Denbury;  a festival which has been created, managed and programmed by a Emma Twamley, a mother of 5, who is solely responsible for developing Glas-Denbury independantly, from initially a school event, into an independant multi award winning festival.

Emma Twamley, Founder and Director of Glas-Denbury said  “After recently winning the Gold Devon Tourism Excellence award for Devon Festival of the Year 2018, it is amazing to have now won a Bronze in the South West Tourism Awards and to be shortlisted amongst larger events including Boardmasters.  I have worked so hard to create an event that not only reflects the beautiful area and region we live in, but honours and respects it as well as championing the arts; the creative, passionate people we have here in the South West.  In everything we do, we aim for excellence and to receive the recognition for the work put in behind the scenes is fantastic.  It is a reward for the efforts and endeavour put in by the incredible team who deliver a festival that the customers, artists, suppliers and everyone involved enjoys so much.  You have to be courageous to put yourself up to be judged, especially at one of the toughest judging processes in England, but we want to continue to perfect what we do and for that we need to be judged. to not only reflect the quality of what we offer at Glas-Denbury but also to give us benchmark ideas for future improvements.”

Opening the event, Robin Barker of Services for Tourism stated: I’d like to commend you – the South West’s leading tourism businesses for your vision, investment, hard work and excellence. You have had the courage to put yourselves forward to be judged, have been through what is recognised as England’s toughest judging process, and will all be winners tonight.” 

Richard Stanbrook, director of headline sponsors South West Water Business, said:We are a long-time judge and sponsor of the South West Tourism Awards and believe that the sector is a vital part of the region’s economy. The South West’s tourism sector contains a huge amount of talented and innovative businesses who go the extra mile to make sure that visitors to this region have a special holiday and want to return year after year. The businesses on the shortlist are leaders in their field and deserved finalists at what will be a great awards night.

Glas-Denbury 2018 hosted a multitude of artists from the South West, with headliners  Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and The Real Thing as well as the infamous and particularly awesome Basil Brush! The atmosphere was incredible across the festival, with families enjoying the hot summer sun, music and arts as well as the free activities and workshops available for everyone. With multiple stages of the arts across a beautiful site in the midst of the rolling Devon hills, this is a collaboration of like minded community who create a colourful, happy, safe event suitable for all ages. The festival brings in South West suppliers, South West food and drink and boasts a line up of over 95% South West artists, entertainers and workshops. They are passionate about accessibility, working personally with all their guests to ensure accessibility for everyone and they work to strict sustainability policy with a strict ban on single use plastics, including cups, straws, carrier bags and more and are members of Festival Vision 2025.

Glas-Denbury 2019 takes place on Friday July 5th and Saturday July 6th with line ups and details to be released soon.

“Anyone who has fond memories of Glasto but can’t face the idea of the crowds and the mud with small people, Glas-Denbury might just be the festival for you. Celebrating the South West’s talented musicians, artists, writers and entertainers, it’s a family friendly music festival on green fields. Nominated for several awards, the festival organisers are committed to making it  “comfortable, safe, happy and inspirational” – it’s definitely on our list this year!” Stephanie Darkes – Devon Life