Vince Power dies at 76: Tributes paid to London Mean Fiddler music promoter who led Reading Festival

Vince Power was behind the growth of the Reading Festival, as well as London music venues including Mean Fiddler and Dingwalls.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The music promoter Vince Power has died aged 76, the Irish Times reports.

Originally from County Waterford in Ireland, Mr Power moved to London as a teenager and would go on to to open London music venues, revive the Reading Festival and launch run including Phoenix Festival, Hop Farm, Fleadh and Madstock.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In 1982, Mr Power opened the Mean Fiddler in Harlesden, inspired by Nashville music. The venue hosted artists including Van Morrison, Johnny Cash and Paul McCartney.

With Mean Fiddler Group he took over the Reading Festival in 1989, turning it into a fixture of the UK music calendar, second only in terms of prestige and influence to Glastonbury, at which he also worked.

In recent years Mr Power reopened the famous Dingwalls at Camden Lock.

It is understood Mr Power died on Saturday, and tributes have since been paid on social media.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Singer Tanita Tikaram wrote on X: "So sad to hear Vince Power has passed away. Like many artists I owe so much to Vince. He gave me my first gig at the Mean Fiddler acoustic room, attended by about three people, but he made sure one of them was an important agent! My condolences to Vince's family and loved ones."

Camden Council's culture lead, Cllr Jonathan Simpson, wrote: "Sad to hear about the passing of music legend Vince Power. His passion for live music helped Camden massively through the Mean Fiddler Group running, at times, Dingwalls, the Jazz Cafe and the Kentish Town Forum. He helped rebuild the Reading Festival too. Rest in Power Vince!"

Tessa Jowell presents music promoter Vince Power with an Honorary CBE in London in 2006.  Tessa Jowell presents music promoter Vince Power with an Honorary CBE in London in 2006.
Tessa Jowell presents music promoter Vince Power with an Honorary CBE in London in 2006.

Cllr Mili Patel, deputy leader of Brent Council, posted: "Very sad. His first Mean Fiddler venue was in #Harlesden where Roy Orbison, Eric Clapton, The Pogues and many others played. The Irish diaspora covering this area of #Brent have a rich heritage and Vince Power leaves behind an incredible legacy."

Music promoter Vince Power in 2006.Music promoter Vince Power in 2006.
Music promoter Vince Power in 2006.
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Singer Imelda May wrote: "So sad to hear of the passing of the great Vince Power. I adored him.

"He took a chance on me at the start of my career when I needed it most.

"He was so important to Irish culture and community at home and the UK. He’ll be greatly missed. Love to his family."