Music Festivals Boss Feeling Flat

Article excerpt

A BLEAK summer for music festivals has left a company founded by former Mean Fiddler boss Vince Power facing an uncertain future.

Music Festivals, which owns Kent's Hop Farm Festival and Spain's Benicassim Festival, suspended its shares after failing to raise fresh funds to support the business.

It represents a disastrous investment for those who took a punt on the firm when it floated in June last year with a valuation of around PS20m.

The group recently warned it expects a full-year loss after weak ticket sales at the Hop Farm event and lower profits at Benicassim, which were both headlined by Bob Dylan.

The wettest summer in England and Wales for 100 years, the Olympics and the general malaise among consumers formed a toxic climate for music festivals this summer.

Festival Republic, the company behind this weekend's Reading and Leeds festivals, was forced earlier this year to cancel the Big Chill in Herefordshire for the first time in its 18-year history.

Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, cited a lack of artist availability due to the event clashing with the Olympics as the main reason behind the decision. …