Veteran live music promoter Vince Power (pictured) has been banned from staging any further events in the UK until an outstanding PRS bill is settled.
Power reportedly operated his annual Hop Farm Festival in Kent without a PRS license from 2009-2011. The decision was made by London’s High Court, with the BBC reporting that Power didn’t submit a defence and was ordered to pay £7,987 to cover PRS for Music’s legal costs.
If Power doesn’t observe the ban and settle up with PRS, he could face contempt of court resulting in further costs and a potential prison sentence.
Power responded in a statement on The Hop Farm’s Facebook page saying: “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”.
It continued: “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; PRS were notified”.
Power elaborated: “I am angry and disappointed that PRS have not contacted me by post, email or telephone. 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”.
As stated above, the company that operated the festival went under in 2012, with the 2013 event cancelled and another promoter and former business partner of Power using the same brand and site for an event in 2014.
According to documents submitted to the court, 31 PRS members performed at 2009’s Hop Farm festival, with at least 10 in 2010, 27 in 2011 and 31 in 2012.
As reported in CMU, PRS declined to directly comment on Power’s statement but did say: “You need a licence to perform music. If you don’t get a licence when you perform music, we will pursue it. We’re here to ensure that songwriters and composers can earn a living from their craft”.
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