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Influential music promoter Vince Power passes away at 76

Noted for renowned events like Reading & Leeds, Benicàssim, The Phoenix festivals, Glastonbury contributions, and The Mean Fiddler, a well-liked live music venue and gay bar.

Photo credit: Chris Egan

The esteemed Irish promoter, Vince Power, born John Vincent, has passed away at the age of 76. His family confirmed his death and applauded him as an “innovative entrepreneur” who made a lasting impact on the music industry. They also remembered him as a devoted father and trusted friend.

Power was instrumental in creating famous festivals like Reading & Leeds and Benicàssim in Barcelona. He also contributed significantly to the Glastonbury Festival.

In 2006, Power was honored with a CBE to acknowledge his extensive influence on live music in the UK and Ireland. The Mean Fiddler, one of his significant projects, was a notable North London venue that fostered emerging talent.

Power was originally from Waterford, located south of Kilkenny. After relocating to London as a teenager, he successfully ran a second-hand furniture business. The earnings from this business allowed him to open the Mean Fiddler in 1982. Located in the London Astoria’s basement, the Mean Fiddler served as a live music venue, nightclub, and gay bar for over two decades, hosting a range of artists like Annie Lennox, Roy Orbison, and Jamiroquai.

Additionally, Power introduced the UK’s first four-day festival, The Phoenix, as an alternative to traditional events like Glastonbury and Reading. By 1996, The Phoenix had a significant lineup featuring artists such as David Bowie, Björk, The Prodigy, Leftfield, Goldie, The Chemical Brothers, and the Cocteau Twins, attracting a large dance music audience.

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