Belfast Telegraph

Vince powers up festivals firm for stock market float

By Peter Cripps

An Irish entrepreneur behind some of the biggest UK music events is aiming to float a venture on the stock market in a bid to raise £6.5m.

Vince Power, who founded the Mean Fiddler music festival business, has set up Music Festivals, which will run Mr Power's interests in the Hop Farm Music Festival in Kent and the Benicassim festival in Spain.

It is also about to stage the first ever Feis Irish festival this weekend in Finsbury Park, featuring Van Morrison and Bob Dylan.

The business will be floated on the alternative stock market later this month to raise funds to buy the rest of the shares in the three festivals it does not already own. It also plans to buy the rights to two new festivals in the South East of England.

The entrepreneur set up Mean Fiddler in 1982, which ran some of the most popular summer festivals and venues in London. Power sold his stake in the company to US media giant Clear Channel for £13m in 2005.

Born in County Waterford, he moved to London aged 16 and opened the first Mean Fiddler venue in north-west London in 1982. The Pogues were among the fledgling acts who played there, while it has also played host to the likes of Johnny Cash and Eric Clapton.

Mean Fiddler took a 50% stake in the Reading Festival and added the likes of Glastonbury and Irish music festival the Fleadh to its events roster.

Feis is a reincarnation of Fleadh, which ran for 14 years and was revived by Mr Power.

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