Vince Power sells majority share in troubled Benicàssim festival

Organisers say this year's bash is 'in no way affected by the acquisition'

Festival promoter Vince Power has sold his majority share in Spain’s troubled Benicàssim festival.

According to a statement, Denis Desmond, founder of MCD Productions and SJM Concerts have jointly acquired a major shareholding in the event’s parent company Maraworld SA. Power will remain a shareholder in Maraworld SA and will continue as the company’s Managing Director until August 2013.

A statement reads that Benicàssim “is in no way affected by the acquisition and this year’s festival will go ahead as planned 18-21 July 2013.” The Killers, Queens of The Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Primal Scream and Beady Eye, Dizzee Rascal, and Hurts are just some of the acts line up to appear this year.

A statement from Vince Power reads: “The difficult economic climate coupled with the bad year suffered by Music Festivals PLC has prompted my decision to sell a major shareholding in Benicàssim festival. I am pleased that two of Europe’s best known festival promoters are now taking part.”

He added: “FIB is one of the world’s most established and best-loved live music events and I wanted to ensure the future of the festival for many years to come. I am pleased we have found great partners to take Benicàssim forward to its next phase and to guarantee it is secure and solid for the fans, this year and every year. Next year Benicàssim celebrates its 20th anniversary and I look forward to many more memorable festivals in years to come.”

There had been speculation that the bash was not going to happen this year, after Power’s company Music Festivals PLC went under in September. He later struck a deal with administrators to buy the event back – saying he was “delighted” with the new deal.

Power’s Music Festivals company – which was also behind the now-defunct Hop Farm Festival – was worth just £310,000 at the time of its collapse, after this year’s Benicassim and Kent’s Hop Farm proved to be loss-making, despite pulling in big-name headliners such as Bob Dylan. Power – who owned 23 per cent of the company – propped up Music Festivals PLC with a £750,000 unsecured loan in July, but it wasn’t enough to save the business.

Power opened his first venue, The Mean Fiddler, in northwest London in 1982. He launched and backed many more venues and events, including London’s Forum and Reading Festival, turning Mean Fiddler into the largest promoter in Europe. In 2002, he took operational control of Glastonbury and sold Mean Fiddler in 2005 for £38 million.