Booking and Talent Buying changes at Festival Republic
Neil Pengelly to hand over Reading & Leeds reignsAfter almost 20 years and 2500 bands later Neil Pengelly has decided it's the right time to hand over the reins of the world's greatest music festival safe in the knowledge that it’s in good hands for the future.
Few other people can lay claim to have contributed to a festivals growth and success more than Neil Pengelly can with Reading Festival and subsequently Leeds Festival.
Neil joined the company on April Fool’s Day 1990 as a promoter and booked various London venues. After booking the comedy and second stage at Reading he took over booking all the music stages at Reading in 1994 and subsequently Leeds. 19 years at the creative helm of a festival that in 1994 was selling around 35,000 weekend and/or day tickets and now is selling around 200,000 weekend and/or day tickets across two sites. His 94 headliners Cypress Hill, Primal Scream and Red Hot Chilli Peppers were ably supported by Radiohead and Pulp among many others and over the 18 subsequent years the list is so long it’s hard to pick out the highlights but The Foo Fighters, Gun’s n Roses, Stone Roses, Rage, The Strokes, Eminem, 50 Cent, Green Day, Metallica, Arctic Monkeys, Pearl Jam and Muse are just a few of the headline highlights and down the bill the list is too long to mention. The man is a legend and will be a tough act to follow. To say he will be missed by me and the rest of the team is an understatement and my thanks would be too gushing to write down and be acceptable to him!
However, true to form from Neil the festival comes first and he will stay on through October and in an advisory and consultative role until March next year to support his replacement (who will join on the 9th November) who will pick up the challenge and excitement of booking the bill and the bands at the world’s greatest twin site music festival.
My sorrow at seeing Neil go is tempered only by the confidence I have in welcoming his replacement to the FR team and the excitement I have in working with him to shape the next chapter at Reading and Leeds.