Vince Revs Up To Full Power

Former Mean Fiddler chief Vince Power will return to the festival business once his non-compete agreements with LN-Gaiety runs out in 2008, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

Andrew Davidson, who made the legendary Irish promoter the subject of his weekly interview, says that’s the opinion of Loaded magazine editor James Brown, whose biography of Power is due to be published next year.

The non-compete clauses are said to include him not promoting festivals or venues with capacities of 2,000 for more than three years. The agreement gave him £13 million in a £38 million Mean Fiddler purchase to fellow Irish promoter and current Mean Fiddler chairman Denis Desmond and Live Nation chief Michael Rapino.

Desmond had originally been miffed when Power tried to sell the company to city investors without telling him, thereby denying him the chance to make a bid, but the 2004 deal collapsed and he got a second chance a year later.

Although Power and Desmond have a history of fierce and at times bitter rivalry, including trying to scupper each other’s Irish festivals, they’re still close enough to join forces to buy a slice of Spain’s Benicassim Festival.

Power has yet to become involved as one of the festival figureheads. Apart from that, he can hardly be said to be competing in a market where Live Nation had no presence when Fiddler was sold in 2005 – and continued to have a low profile until it bought Gay Mercader’s Gamerco this year.

The interview makes it clear that Power, who was given the CBE last year for his services to music, has been doing more than just kicking his heels, pointing out that he has a clutch of London bars including Spiga in Soho and Odette’s in Primrose Hill.

He also launched The Pigalle Club in London last year and bought and refurbished the Bloomsbury Ballroom.