The event in not in doubt despite its site being up for sale…
The future of THE CARLING WEEKEND: READING FESTIVAL is not in doubt despite its site being put up for sale, organisers insist.
Reports in the Reading local press revealed that the Little John’s Farm site had been put up for sale for around £1.5 million, however Mean Fiddler Managing Director Melvin Benn told NME.COM that this will have no bearing on the event’s immediate future.
“It doesn’t put the festival jeopardy or doubt,” he explained. “We’ve got another six years on the existing contract to run, so we have no issues what so ever. We’ve got a very secure contract until 2010.”
The Reading Chronicle had reported that the land which has hosted the festival since 1971 was on the market and due to its natural resources could be transformed into a gravel mine or be used for luxury river-side flats.
However Benn insisted this was no threat to The Carling Weekend: Reading Festival.
“The land has actually been on sale for over a year, we’ve looked at but we wouldn’t buy it at that sort of price,” he said. “It’s not a gravel goldmine, the only valuable activity that takes place on the grass is the Reading Festival, so its pretty unlikely anyone will restrict it going ahead.”
Benn also said that if beyond 2010 the event was forced to move this would not be a major issue.
“It is a piece of grass. The Reading Festival is a much more substantial institution now then a piece of grass, if we had to find another piece of grass to put the Festival on we would,” he declared. “We would look for somewhere else if the Festival came into jeopardy, but that wouldn’t be in the medium term.”
The Mean Fiddler MD also added that whatever the status of Little John’s Farm, The Carling Weekend: Reading Festival will remain in the same area.
“We’d obviously look to keep it in the Greater Reading area,” said Benn. “We’re not like a franchised American Football team, ‘Lets put the Reading Festival on in Oxford’, we wouldn’t be doing that. We’re very attached to Reading.”