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Business News

Music Festivals to call in administrator

The music died for the veteran festival entrepreneur Vince Power yesterday as his latest venture prepared for administration barely a year after floating on the stock market.

Music Festivals – which runs the Hop Farm Festival in Kent and Spain's Benicassim – suspended share trading on Friday after failing to raise working capital. Yesterday it confirmed that it would appoint administrators "in due course".

Mr Power, who built up the Mean Fiddler business over 30 years and ran the Reading music festival, held a 45 per cent stake in the business – the UK's first listed festivals organiser.

But the company has struggled thanks to this summer's shocking weather and the rival attractions of the Olympics, and has already admitted that Hop Farm, featuring Bob Dylan and the Indie rock band The Vaccines, was loss-making at the end of June after weaker-than-expected ticket sales.

Benicassim in Valencia was also comparatively quiet, triggering a warning that profits this year would be "materially lower" than City expectations. Mr Power himself lent the business £750,000 in July.

Other promoters have struggled this year – despite Glastonbury's taking a year off – with festivals such as the Big Chill and Sonisphere cancelled. The industry has come under pressure from free events such as Radio 1's Big Weekend for 100,000 in Hackney and nightly concerts in Hyde Park during the Olympics, paid for by the telecoms giant BT.