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Festival Republic is a UK music promoter. It was founded as Mean Fiddler Group in 1982 by Irish-born chairman John Vincent Power,[1] as a venue-management and music-promotion group. After the group was taken over by Hamsard Ltd in 2005, the focus became more concentrated on festivals, and in 2007 the venues along with the Mean Fiddler name were sold on, with the remaining company being renamed Festival Republic.[2] Melvin Benn is the current managing director.

Festival Republic
Private limited company
IndustryMusic promoter
Founded1982; 37 years ago (1982)
Headquarters2nd Floor, Regent Arcade House, 19-25 Argyll Street, London, W1F 7TS
Key people
Melvin Benn (Director)
Denis Desmond (Director)
Stuart Douglas (Director)
Paul Latham (Director)
Elizabeth Willard (Director)



The group was founded in 1982 by Irish-born chairman John Vincent Power, with a venue called simply Mean Fiddler.[1] At the end of the 1980s they took control of the Reading Festival from Harold Pendleton, beginning a move into festivals.[3] After acquiring the LA2 (now known as the Astoria2) in Charing Cross Road in 2000, they were renamed to become the Mean Fiddler Music Group.

In April 2005, they accepted a takeover bid from Hamsard Ltd,[4] a co-operative company 50.1% owned by Live Nation UK (formerly the entertainment division of Clear Channel UK but now part of Live Nation International) and 49.9% owned by Irish event organiser MCD.

In 2006, the Mean Fiddler Music Group reduced its touring and promotion activities to concentrate on running festivals. It maintained control of the successful Reading and Leeds festivals and announced a new addition, Latitude Festival.

In 2007, the Mean Fiddler Music Group was sold along with several venues to Mama Group Plc in order to allow Festival Republic to concentrate fully on promoting festivals. As part of the sale, Mama Group acquired the rights to the Mean Fiddler trademark.[2][5]

Festival promotion and productionEdit

Festival Republic's flagship events are the Reading and Leeds Festivals. These are a pair of annual events which take place simultaneously on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend, sharing the same bill. In addition they also run the Latitude Festival in Suffolk, the Wireless Festival and the Community Festival in London, EDC UK in Milton Keynes, and the Download Festival in Leicestershire.[6] They also produce BBC Proms In The Park and BBC Radio 2 Live In Hyde Park, which both take place on the same weekend in September in London's Hyde Park.

In Ireland they organize the Longitude Festival and Electric Picnic. In Norway they run the Hove Festival.[7] In Germany they have expanded from running the Berlin Festival to running the first European Lollapalooza.[6]

They have previously been responsible for Big Chill festival, which last ran in 2011, and were the operators of the Glastonbury Festival from 2002 until 2012.

Former venuesEdit


  1. ^ a b Thompson, Jonathan (26 August 2001). "Vince Power: Mean fiddler who made the nation dance to his tune". The Independent.
  2. ^ a b Bowers, Simon (13 August 2007). "The Mean Fiddler comes to Mama". The Guardian.
  3. ^ Prain, Susannah (1 February 2001). "How I Got Here: Fiddling all over the world". Student Independent. London. Archived from the original on 3 December 2007.
  4. ^ "Mean Fiddler accepts takeover bid". BBC News. 8 April 2005.
  5. ^ "Mean Fiddler becomes Festival Republic". Virtual Festivals. 14 August 2007. Archived from the original on 24 December 2007.
  6. ^ a b Festival Republic.
  7. ^ "Review: Hove Festival (Norway)" Crack In The Road

External linksEdit