Brainfood: If I had to start again

I think I would be able to avoid lots of the pitfalls and mistakes I made. If you're successful, there are always mistakes you make along the way, especially with the business I am in - it's very risky. I follow my heart sometimes rather than my head. Take the Grand Theatre in Clapham, south London. I bought it, restored it and turned it into a fabulous music venue, but it was a disaster - I lost about £2 million on it. The bloody thing didn't work and it took me too long to realise that.

by Vince Power
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

I did a festival in Ireland in 1993, and that was a huge disaster. No-one turned up. We had all the acts: Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Van Morrison, the Pogues, Jerry Lee Lewis - a sort of wishlist of my own. But I did it in the wrong area - in Waterford, where I'm from. Maybe I was trying to prove something to these people who lived in this small town. It was a bit like someone saying to me now: 'Would you do a festival in some obscure place in the UK?' and I'd say: 'You must be mad!'; but that's what I did, because I was ruled by my heart. I lost £1 million on it. I suppose my best decision was going into the festival business with Reading in 1989.

There's a great temptation to change completely again now. I don't know what I'd do - something in mass manufacture. It's not about making the millions - the money doesn't interest me at all; what interests me is the challenge. I know that I could walk out on the street tomorrow with nothing, and still spot something that would make me a living. You're either that way or not. I'm only as good as the next challenge really.

Business-wise, I've got no regrets - I've been really lucky. I think I find things easy to do. As long as you can bounce back, you know it's only money in the end. In my personal life, I'm sure I've got a million regrets, but I think because I come from this world in Ireland - a Catholic upbringing, there were 11 of us, seven survived - my attitude is to do right and to do good.

- Vince Power set up Mean Fiddler Music Group in 1982.

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