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Hop Farm Festival founder John Vince Power labels Performing Rights Society vindictive following ban from playing live music

By Ed McConnell

Concert promoter and founder of the Hop Farm Festival Vince Power, who has been banned from playing live music, has branded the legal action against him as “vindictive”.

London’s High Court made the astonishing ruling last week after learning the 67-year-old staged the three-day Paddock Wood music event for years without the appropriate licence.

The music mogul is reported to have built up a £60 million empire that expanded to eight major music festivals and venues, along with a string of nightclubs and restaurants.

Prince headlines at the Hop Farm music festival Picture: Matthew Walker

But the Performing Rights Society claimed copyright was infringed by the public performance of musical works at the Paddock Wood festival between 2009 and 2012 when artists such as Peter Gabriel, Morrissey and Van Morrison performed.

Power, who failed to file a defence against the allegations, was ordered to pay £7,987 in legal costs.

In a statement published on the festival’s Facebook page, the Irishman claimed he had not had any correspondence from the Performing Rights Society, the company responsible for collecting licence fees, and was surprised to learn about the case.

Vince Power, organiser of the original Hop Farm Festival

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

The festival was cancelled last year and this year’s event was operated by a different promoter.

A Hop Farm Music Festival spokesman said: “If there was any money outstanding to PRS, this would have been dealt with by the administrators for Music Festivals PLC which went into administration in October 2012.”

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