Hop Farm founder hits back at ban reports

The founder of Hop Farm festival, Vince Power, has responded to claims from the Performing Rights Society for Music (PRS) that he has been banned from staging live music events.

Hop Farm festival takes place at Paddock Wood in Kent
Hop Farm festival takes place at Paddock Wood in Kent

In a BBC Newsbeat article published online this morning (1 August), it was reported that Power did not have copyright to play live music between 2009 and 2012. A high court judge banned him from staging music events after he failed to file a defence, the news report asserted.

It also stated that he would have to pay £7,987 in legal costs incurred by the PRS.

Following the story’s publication, Power’s company, Vince Power Music Group (VPMG), issued a statement that said the 67-year-old festival organiser was unaware of the situation.

The release read: "Vince would like to state that he has not had any correspondence from PRS regarding this situation and was surprised to read about these supposed outstanding fees of £7,987, this is miniscule compared to the amount of money paid to PRS over the years by Vince Power and companies."

VPMG also added that any outstanding fees would have been dealt with by the administrators of Music Festivals PLC, which went into administration in 2012.

Power said: "I am angry and disappointed that PRS have not contacted me by post, email or telephone.  To say that I am banned from staging live music events for the sake of £7,000, is damaging to my career.

"In light of the long-strained relationship I have with them, I can only see this as PRS being vindictive and a means of deflection for what I see as the real problem within PRS: they have a long list of artists that are owed money which they do not pay. 

"I am very happy for any artists who have been chasing PRS unsuccessfully to contact me to see if there is a way we can group together and get the money they are owed."

VPMG also claimed Power and his companies had no involvement in the Hop Farm festival this year, which was headlined by Ray Davies, Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson and Grace Jones. The event held in 2013 was cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

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