Electric Picnic loses €2.1m in two years

Fri, Jan 25, 2013, 00:00

One of the promoters behind the Electric Picnic festival insisted last night that this year’s event will proceed. This is despite the Stradbally, Co Laois, festival incurring huge losses in recent years.

The festival also underwent a significant change in its ownership structure last November.

Melvin Benn from Festival Republic, which has been involved in Electric Picnic since 2009, said it was “always the intention” to hold the event this year, the festival’s 10th anniversary.

Recent accounts filed by EP Republic Ltd, the operating company behind the festival, show combined losses in 2011 and 2010 totalling €2.1 million.

EP Republic Ltd is owned equally by Mr Benn and John Reynolds. The company is controlled by EP Festivals Ltd, with 71 per cent owned by Mr Benn’s Festival Republic Dublin Ltd and 29 per cent owned by Mr Reynolds’s POD Music Ltd.

Mr Benn told The Irish Times that tickets for this year’s event would go on sale “as usual” in March.

He said the reason no early-bird tickets went on sale in December for this year’s event was the need to get “a new company structure” in place after Festival Republic Dublin Ltd was acquired by LN-Gaiety Holding Ltd last November.

LN-Gaiety Holding Ltd is an entity owned by international music promoters Live Nation and Gaiety Investments, the parent company to Denis Desmond’s MCD Concerts.

Ownership structure

Mr Benn said the new ownership structure did not affect the position of Mr Reynolds, who has been involved with the festival since it started in 2004.

While Mr Desmond’s Gaiety Investments was already a co-owner of Festival Republic with Live Nation, the MCD boss only became a director of Festival Republic Dublin Ltd on November 26th last.

Records at the Companies Office show that Gaiety Investments has 20 outstanding mortgages and loans from a variety of lenders.