Fiddler supremo to launch own label

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The Independent Online

Vince Power, the founder and former boss of the live-music organiser Mean Fiddler, is setting up his own record label.

The promoter is also in negotiations with mobile phone companies to sponsor the first weekend rock music festival in Tirana, Albania.

Mr Power, who established dozens of music festivals in the Eighties and Nineties, including the annual Reading festival, said he would launch the label and management company in about three months' time. The company does not yet have a name, but Mr Power said it would incorporate his own surname. The label will look to sign new bands and singer-songwriters.

Mr Power, 59, sold his 35 per cent stake in Mean Fiddler to Clear Channel, a US media giant, for around £13m last year. He has since founded another company, Vince Power Music Group, to organise music events and to open a string of bars and music venues.

Under an agreement with Clear Channel, he cannot launch any festivals in the UK until 2008. But he has organised a new annual festival in Spain in July and is looking at other sites in Eastern Europe, such as the capital of Albania.

Mr Power, whose latest bar, At Proud, will open in north London on 29 June, said these festivals needed sponsorship to make them virtually free to attend, as people in Eastern European countries could not afford the entrance fees of around £100 common in the UK. Mobile phone companies were particularly interested in sponsoring the events, he said.

"I have spent a lot of time in Albania. I'm interested in doing something that has never been done before, like taking a big square in the middle of Tirana. The young people know what's going on, they have MTV, they know the bands."

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