THIS year's Byron Bay Bluesfest is now officially the top festival of the year after picking up a coveted Helpmann Award at the Sydney Opera House last night.
The 24th Bluesfest beat this year's Falls Festival, the Laneway Festivals and last year's Vivid Live festival at Sydney for the honour.
Bluesfest was named Best Contemporary Music Festival among a field of 42 awards for events, actors, and performers.
Festival director Peter Noble, who was at the Opera House to receive the award, said the success of Bluesfest rested on the shoulders of a team of people too numerous to name.
"We may be standing here with the award on stage tonight, however, without each and every one of these hardworking and committed people we would not be here," Mr Noble was quoted saying in a statement from, Bluesfest.
"I am thrilled to accept this award on behalf of my team.
"This year's Bluesfest featured some of the finest musicians from around the world and it is great to be recognised at this prestigious industry event.
"It also is proof that the Byron Bay area is the regional arts capital of Australia."
Last night was the third time Bluesfest has won a Helpmann award and the seventh time it has been nominated for one.
It also marked the festival's touring arm's first showing at the ceremony, after receiving a nomination for Best International Contemporary Concert for its work for the Tedeschi Trucks concert, supported by one of Bluesfest's highlight acts, Trombone Shorty, at Sydney's Enmore Theatre.
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