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Two Hop Farm festivals? War of words over revived music event

By Lucy_CB  |  Posted: October 24, 2013

By Lucy Clarke-Billings lucy.clarke-billings@courier.co.uk

DUEL: Promoters Vince Power (left) and Neil Butkeraitis (right) have both claimed the Hop Farm Music Festival

DUEL: Promoters Vince Power (left) and Neil Butkeraitis (right) have both claimed the Hop Farm Music Festival

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A FESTIVAL called the Hop Farm Music Festival which is not the original Hop Farm Music Festival will be based at the Hop Farm while down the road in Tunbridge Wells there will be the original Hop Farm Music Festival, not actually based at the Hop Farm.

Who is where in the what now?

Confusion reigns over Kent this afternoon, after two entirely separate organisers announced the return of the Hop Farm Music Festival.

Axed this year by promoter Vince Power because of poor ticket sales and a bad economy, music lovers were thrilled to hear of its revival this week.

The UK Events and Promotions duo, Neil Butkeraitis and Ian Roberts, announced they would take over the Hop Farm from July 4-6 2014, promising a great line up and an “entirely different” experience.

But in a rather confusing twist, Vince Power took to Facebook this afternoon to release a conflicting statement.

It read: “Vince Power’s Hop Farm Music Festival is set to return to Kent in 2014, at a new site in Tunbridge Wells.

“Having used the Hop Farm Family Park to stage five Hop Farm Festivals Vince Power has secured a new site in Tunbridge Wells for the 2014 event.

“Reports suggest that another festival is to be hosted on The Hop Farm Family Park site, called the Hop Farm Music Festival, but this event has no association with the well-established Hop Farm Music Festival.

“This is an unfamiliar event organised by an entirely different promoter and team. Despite the naming of this event it is not in any way connected with the esteemed Hop Farm Music Festival.”

So, there are two Hop Farm Music Festivals being held in Kent next year. Same name. Same county. And quite possibly the same weekend.

The Courier spoke to new promoter Ian Roberts about the sudden turn of events.

He said: “We have nothing to say about what he (Vince Power) is going to do in the future but we can say that we are providing the Hop Farm Music Festival at the Hop Farm in July 2014 – and we will be the best festival in Kent.

“From a punters point of view, you can’t have an event called the Hop Farm Festival that isn’t at the Hop Farm.

“We are primed and ready with new information on our line up to be announced in the next few weeks and we only have positive things to say about our upcoming festival.

“We are as interested as everyone else to see what happens.”

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