Vince Power, the organiser of events such as Hop Farm and Benicassim, has criticised the BBC for creating its Radio 1 Hackney Weekend, whose free tickets he believes have made it harder for regular festivals to compete in the current economic climate.
The Hackney Weekend event will be held this coming weekend (June 23rd and 24th), and has secured a number of marquee bookings including headliners Rihanna and Jay-Z, as well as the likes of Kasabian, Florence & The Machine and Jack White.
And with the BBC funding the festival with license fee money and offering free entry, Power has told The Independent newspaper the corporation has ‘pissed him off’ for creating unfair competition.
“In a special time of austerity, I’m sure that taxpayers don’t want to see their money spent on festivals. If the BBC is giving something out for free, then we can’t compete,” he said. “It’s really pissed me off. A lot of people aren’t willing to put their head above the parapet, to say that this isn’t fair. It isn’t right.”
However, Radio 1 boss Ben Cooper has defended the station’s event, telling the Evening Standard that the free nature of the weekend means they are not actually competing with other, more established festivals.
“We’re going into an area that I don’t think any commercial operator would have gone into after the unrest of last year,” he explained. “That is the job of the BBC. I don’t think we are taking ticket sales from competing festivals because people aren’t being charged.”Just Published: