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Electric Picnic founder Reynolds, one of Ireland's most successful independent promoters and the co-creator of Boyzone, died suddenly at his Dublin home last night
By Jon Chapple on 26 Oct 2018
Irish concert promoter and artist manager John Reynolds, the founder of Pod Concerts and a former co-manager of Boyzone, has passed away aged 52.
Reynolds, one of the Republic of Ireland’s most successful independent promoters, co-founded the Electric Picnic festival with Robert Laffan in 2004 and formerly owned a string of venues, including Market Bar, IdleWild Bar and the famed Pod nightclub, in Dublin.
According to IQ’s recent Ireland market report, Reynolds, an ILMC member, also operated Dublin’s Button Factory venue and festivals around the city, including electronic music event Winterparty at 3Arena, Metropolis at the RDS complex and Forbidden Fruit at Royal Hospital Kilmainham.
He is also credited with the creation of Boyzone, loaning money to, and initially co-managing the band with, Louis Walsh in the mid-1990s.
A new Pod festival, the 15,000-cap. All Together Now in Waterford, launched to great success earlier this year.
Reynolds was found dead in his flat in Milltown, south Dublin, yesterday (26 October) evening.
A statement issued by his family reads: “It is with great sadness that the Reynolds family confirm the sudden death of John Reynolds of POD this evening.
“John, aged 52 years, who was one of Ireland’s leading independent festival and concert promoters, died suddenly at his home in Milltown, Dublin.
“Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days. The family requested privacy at this time.
“Metropolis Festival will go ahead this Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 October as scheduled in the RDS, Dublin.”
“As a promoter, it was about the experience – putting on a string of best nights out – more than the business”
Robomagic’s Rob Hallett, who co-promoted Leonard Cohen in Ireland with Hallett (then at AEG), says: “Words fail me. [He was] an unbelievable promoter with the most amazing ideas and execution. I challenged him every time, and every time he came up trumps.
“Lissadell [House in Co. Sligo, where Cohen played in 2010] will live long in many memories. RIP.”
Reynolds’s friend Jim Carroll, writing for Irish broadcaster RTÉ, says he “displayed more imagination, energy, enthusiasm, spirit and crazy unique ideas before breakfast than many of his peers do in a lifetime”.
He writes: “Music may have been his main game, but he was informed by art, design, architecture, football and dozens of other things. Like the very best people, he was a relentless optimist, someone who battled and pushed and strived with an idea long after the rest of us would have given up. As a promoter, it was about the experience – putting on a string of best-nights-out – more than the business. He had that vision thing – and he drove some of us crazy with that fucking vision thing.
“Like many folks right now, I’m going to miss him. I knew him a long time. As you get older, such key associations and friendships get longer and deeper and you can always pick up the thread when there’s a gap. Like any long friendship, there were times when we fought like cats and dogs – he threw me head first out of the POD a few times over some row now long forgotten in the mists of time – but there was always a reconciliation. I valued the calls, the texts, the conversations, the encounters, the crazy ideas.
“I find it really hard to believe there won’t be more. Deepest, heartfelt condolences to his family and colleagues in POD on this sad loss.”
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