Holsten ditches festival

Beer company Holsten UK has scrapped plans to sponsor a sum mer festival after getting caught in a legal row between rival music promoters.

The Mean Fiddler group and rival promoter Universe have been embroiled in a row over ownership of the name of the festival, called Tribal Gathering, which the two companies have run jointly for the past two years.

A Universe spokesman says the dispute with the Mean Fiddler was settled out of court late last week, and that Universe now had the uncontested rights to the name.

But in the confusion, the festival – which was to have been promoted under the name of Universe ’98 while the row over the name Tribal Gathering continued – has flopped.

Organisers had hoped for a 60,000 crowd, but to date only about 15,000 tickets have been sold for the event, which was to have Holsten as its headline sponsor and would have been billed as the UK’s largest outdoor dance festival.

It would have featured 60 bands, including Black Grape, Beck, and Spiritualized and was scheduled to take place on May 23-24 at Knebworth Park, Hertfordshire.

Andrew Edge, marketing manager for Holsten, confirms the brand has pulled out: “We need to be presented to when the event is finalised again. Then we will consider our options.”

The two-day event was part of a 2m live music promotion Holsten is committed to this year.

Universe still hopes to revive the festival later this year, now it has control of the Tribal Gathering name.

A spokeswoman for the Mean Fiddler refuses to comment.

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