Vince Power, a well-known event organizer for concerts and festivals, passed away at the age of 76.

Vince Power, a well-known event organizer for concerts and festivals, passed away at the age of 76.

Vince Power, the organizer of music events like Reading and Leeds festivals, passed away at the age of 76.

The family of the deceased has released a statement confirming his passing. They described him as an innovative businessperson who greatly impacted and shaped the music industry, while also being a devoted and caring father and a faithful friend to many.

John Vincent Power was born in Waterford, Ireland in 1947. He became a prominent figure in the Irish music scene after relocating to London at the age of fifteen. In 1982, he founded the Mean Fiddler in Harlesden with profits from a flourishing secondhand furniture store he had established twenty years prior. The venue gained recognition for hosting Irish folk music and country and western acts, and eventually drew in notable artists such as Eric Clapton, Annie Lennox, and Roy Orbison.

Power’s company, Mean Fiddler Group, initially began as a hobby but quickly grew into a massive success, acquiring ownership of several popular London venues such as the Jazz Cafe, the Garage, and the Astoria.

In 1989, he took over the struggling Reading festival and added a second location in Leeds in 1999. In 1993, he encountered a financial setback after a costly gig at Ireland’s Tramore racecourse, featuring artists such as Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Ray Charles, and Jerry Lee Lewis, leaving him £2.5m in debt. However, he bounced back by launching the Phoenix festival in 1993, showcasing the diversity of alternative music in the 1990s. The 1996 edition included performances by David Bowie, Neil Young, Björk, and a reunited Sex Pistols. Additionally, he organized popular Fleadh events, which brought together the best of Irish rock and folk, including concerts in Finsbury Park in London.

After several initial struggles, Mean Fiddler went public on the stock market, and made an investment in the Glastonbury festival in 2002 (which was eventually repurchased in 2012). Power sold his shares in the company in 2004 and started a new venture, the Vince Power Music Group, which organized the Hop Farm festival from 2008 to 2012. Power managed to secure big names such as Prince, Eagles, and Bob Dylan as headliners, but the festival ultimately operated at a loss. Describing the Prince concert, he later remarked, “I ran it and lost a lot of money. But, it was still an amazing night.” The collapse of the festival left both artists and the Kent police out of pocket in 2012.

In the year 2014, the high court in London issued a temporary ban on Power’s ability to advertise and organize live music events. This was due to his operation of Hop Farm without a valid performing rights license.

In 2005, he became the owner of the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim in Spain. However, due to its difficulties, he sold his majority share in 2013. While trying to make a comeback into the festival market in 2019 with Feis Liverpool, the attempt was unsuccessful. However, he later acquired a number of London venues, including the renowned Dingwalls.

In 2006, he was awarded an honorary CBE. Power expressed, “It’s a pleasant acknowledgment, even though there are many others who are more worthy of it. Nonetheless, I am extremely pleased and proud.”

Imelda May was among those paying tribute following his death, writing: “I adored him and will be forever grateful to him for giving me a chance when I needed it most when starting out.” Tanita Tikaram described Power as “the kindest of men & like many artists I owe so much to Vince”.

His eight children are the surviving members of his family.