London Fleadh Festival Called Off
U.K. music-festival and venue promotion giant Mean Fiddler Music Group (MFMG) has pulled the plug on this year's Fleadh Festival in London, citing a dearth of bill-topping acts.U.K. music-festival and venue promotion giant Mean Fiddler Music Group (MFMG) has pulled the plug on this year's Fleadh Festival in London, citing a dearth of bill-topping acts. The summer event, which celebrates Irish and Irish-influenced music, has been held every year at Finsbury Park in North London since it launched in 1990. The inaugural event featured such luminaries as Van Morrison, Christy Moore, the Pogues, and the Dubliners.
"We've put it on ice for this year," MFMG's London-based managing director Melvin Benn tells Billboard.com. "We just haven't seen a headliner out there to build a festival around in a manner that we'd be pleased with."
On the positive side, Benn emphasizes that the decision is not a reflection of the quality of acts on the circuit. "There's a lot of Irish talent bubbling under, a lot of extremely good, solid Irish stuff," he says, singling out Damien Rice as a "big star" in the making. "But it's the headliners we were short of and it was the headliners we were worried about," he notes.
The Pogues headlined last year's event, which featured Irish performers such as Gemma Hayes, Mary Coughlan, the Proclaimers, Paul Brady, and Altan, alongside such non-Irish acts as the Wonderstuff, Paul Kelly, and Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros.