A Picnic For Festival Republic

Festival Republic’s highly successful summer ended with an added bonus for managing director Melvin Benn, who told Pollstar that Electric Picnic in Ireland is an even better event than he realised when his company bought a majority share of it.

He said one of the first things he noticed was how much the festival had improved since he last visited it three years ago. He was quick to point out that John Reynolds – now a minority shareholder – deserves the credit for the progress Electric Picnic has made.

Reynolds, who was faced with a High Court action over a euro 432,741 PRS bill for previous Picnics, eased his financial pressures in the Spring by selling most of his shares in the event to Festival Republic, which also bought out co-promoter Peter Aiken’s interest in the Stradbally outdoor.

Buoyed by all of this year’s Festival Republic outdoors selling out, including the 32,000-capacity Electric Picnic and the company’s first staging of Norway’s Hove Festival, Benn now has his eyes on further expansion.

“I’m looking to either acquire or create another event next year,” he explained, although he was giving no clues as to when or where that may be.

The acts helping Festival Republic tuck into the Irish festival market Sept. 4-6 included Orbital, Flaming Lips, Basement Jaxx, Madness, Fleet Foxes, MGMT, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Klaxons.