Tributes flood in for Vince Power

Tributes flood in for Vince Power

The Waterford man ran some of Britain’s top venues and festivals and has been credited with revolutionising live music

Vince Power (Getty Images).jpg

VINCE Power, the music impresario from Waterford, died last Saturday at the age of 76. Figures from across the music industry — in Britain, Ireland and internationally — have spoke about his vision that helped change the very face of live music.

Vince was born in Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford in 1947, one of eleven children.

Coming from a rural background, a job in farming seemed an obvious choice, so Vince enrolled at a local agricultural college after school. But at the age of 15 he took the boat to London.

A series of jobs in factories, building sites and shop floors led him to taking the first step into the world of business — opening a furniture store. It wasn’t long before he realised he had a keen business brain, and 1982 he had opened the Mean Fiddler in Harlesden. This soon established itself as one of major music venues in the capital, staging legendary artists including Van Morrison, Johnny Cash and Paul McCartney.

Further acquisitions and music promotion followed — At its height, his Mean Fiddler Music Group owned some of the most high-profile live music venues in London including The Astoria, the Powerhaus and the Jazz Café. The Mean Fiddler organisation was credited with making Glastonbury a viable festival, as well as revitalising Reading and Leeds Festivals. His most recent project was the revival of London’s Camden Live music venue Dingwalls.

For his services to music Power was awarded a CBE in 2006.

Singer songwriter Tanita Tikaram tweeted: “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 3 people but he made sure 1 of them was an important agent! My condolences to Vince’s family and loved ones.”

Singer songwriter Cerys Matthews wrote: “I’m going to miss you so very much, my friend in music, in thinking, in dreaming. Love you very much. Rip.”

Power was father to eight children and was appointed a CBE in 2006. In a statement his family said: “It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Vince Power. A visionary entrepreneur who enhanced and influenced the music industry significantly, whilst always being a dedicated, loving father and a loyal friend to so many.

“We want to thank everyone who has offered their condolences and request that our privacy be respected at this time of great sadness.”

The Irish Post owner, Elgin Loane, expressed his deep sadness over Vince’s passing. In a statement he said: “The Irish Post is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of music impresario Vince Power. A true legendary figure of the Irish in Britain and London Irish, he was a humble and unassuming man who reached the top of the British and international music industry.

We extend our deepest condolences to the Power family; he will be greatly missed and we will miss his expert advice and input into our own Irish Post Awards.”