Mean Fiddler's former boss gets CBE for services to music

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The Independent Online

Mean Fiddler founder Vince Power has been awarded an honourary CBE for services to the music industry.

Through Mean Fiddler, the veteran promoter, 59, has founded dozens of clubs and music events in the UK, including the Reading Festival. He also arranged for the company to take over the running of Glastonbury.

"I am the last person I thought would be awarded it," he said. "It's a nice recognition even though a lot of people are more deserving of it. But I am very happy and proud."

Mr Power, who is Irish, received a letter from Buckingham Palace last Friday confirming that he was in line for the honour. His award is not part of the twice-yearly honours lists - the Queen's Birthday Honours and the New Year Honours. Honorary awards, given to non-Britons, are often announced separately from those on these two lists.

Mr Power has had a good year. He pocketed about £13m in 2005 when he sold his controlling stake in Mean Fiddler to US media giant Clear Channel. The takeover resulted in Mr Power leaving the group he founded in a small club in Harlesden, North London, in 1982.

He has since set up another company, Vince Power Music, to organise new events. Under the terms of the agreement with Clear Channel, he cannot run any festivals in the UK for three years. He has therefore focused on overseas markets, and in July he launched the inaugural Benicassim music festival in Spain, headlined by The Cure. He has also set up bars and restaurants in London.

Mr Power, who came to London from Ireland when he was 16, said in a recent interview with The Independent on Sunday that starting out as an unknown made a big impression on him.

"When I was a teenager in London, I was always turned away at the door. 'You don't fit, you're not the right type.' I used to hate that. Now I can go to my own place and I never get turned away."

Mr Power will be awarded the CBE at Buckingham Palace later this year.