Electric Picnic dispute settled

June 2014

Live events sector


The founder of Ireland’s Electric Picnic festival, John Reynolds, has settled his legal action against the company that now operates the Electric Picnic. Reynolds took legal action against Festival Republic Dublin, alleging breach of a March 2009 shareholders agreement and oppression of the petitioner’s interests. Reynolds argued that management decisions made by Melvin Benn, the chief executive of FRD, relating to the 2012 and 2013 festivals were damaging to Reynold’s POD Music Ltd, the 100 per cent shareholder of EP Republic Ltd, but were to the benefit of the FRD Group. In 2009 FRD paid €4.2m on acquiring a 71 per cent stake in EP Festivals Ltd, then a subsidiary of POD. Reynolds also claimed he was kept out of volume discounting on sales of tickets and lost out as a result – estimating a discounting sum of €450,000 was involved over the five Electric Picnics between 2009 and 2013 which had a direct impact on the value of his shareholding. Reynolds had previously secured an order requiring Ticketmaster to provide him with information about volume discounts paid on the sale of tickets for five Electric Picnic festivals up to 2013. In response FRD alleged Mr Reynolds had been engaging in a deliberately obstructive pattern of behaviour and was seeking to have his shares bought out at “grossly inflated prices” and that Reynolds had presented a one-sided account of how the management of the festival has worked both before and after 2009 – and that POD had been loss making before 2009. Mr Justice Peter Kelly at the Commercial Court adjourned the case until June 3rd when it is expected to be struck out. A press release said ““EP Festivals is pleased to report that an agreement has been reached between POD Music and Festival Republic Dublin regarding Electric Picnic. As part of the agreement, POD Music, a co-shareholder in Electric Picnic, has agreed to divest its stake to Festival Republic Dublin. Festival Republic Dublin would like to thank John Reynolds, director of POD Music, for his contribution to the successful development of Electric Picnic and wish him well for the future.” The 2014 edition  features Portishead, Beck, OutKast, Kelis, Foals, Pet Shop Boys, Paolo Nutini, Sr Vincent, Lily Allen, Neneh Cherry, Blondie, Sinead O’Connor and The Horrors



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