LEGENDARY PROMOTER Vince Power says September this year is the earliest London’s 500-capacity Dingwalls in Camden can reopen although it may remain closed until the New Year, depending on the Covid crisis.
He tells live UK he is occupying the venue after signing a deal with an organisation he declined to name and hopes to resurrect the fortunes of a venue that hosted The Clash, The Sex Pistols and the Ramones in the late 1970s and more recently Ellie Goulding, The Foo Fighters and George Ezra.
He will also operate two non-live music bars Canal Bar and Lock 17 which form part of the Camden complex.
“I’ve been around Camden since the 1960s and I love Dingwalls,” says Power. “It’s been neglected for too long. I was approached by somebody who needed experience in live music and I signed a deal.
“I’m investing in in-house sound and lighting, but it won’t be a complete refurbishment. The public aren’t interested in a fancy bar, they just want cold drinks and doormen who don’t beat them up. I won’t have a specific music policy, just good rock, jazz and other acts that fill the place – similar to previously.”
Power, who from running a North London pub called Mean Fiddler (cap. 550), founded the Mean Fiddler Music Group, which revitalised Reading Festival (now 90,000) and launched Leeds (90,000) in the 1980s and owned several key London venues.
He suffered a setback in 2013 when his Hop Farm Festival (50,000) in Kent collapsed, despite his attempt to relaunch it as a 10,000-capacity event. In 2018 he ran the 10,000-capacity Feis in Liverpool, but hoped-for council support failed to materiaslise for a follow-up.
Camden Icons Ltd, run by hospitality and catering entrepreneur Roger Payne, has been Dingwalls’ licencee since December 2018.