Reading and Leeds festival booker Neil Pengelly is to hand over his duties at Festival Republic after almost 20 years working with the company.
Pengelly has booked around 2500 bands since starting as a London promoter in 1990. After booking the comedy and second stage at Reading, he took over booking all music stages at the festival in 1994 along with Leeds.
He then spent 19 years at the creative helm of the festival, which 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.
During his time working on the event, 94 headliners included Cypress Hill, Primal Scream and Red Hot Chilli Peppers were supported by Radiohead and Pulp among many others and over the 18 subsequent years other highlights include The Foo Fighters, Guns N Roses, Stone Roses, Rage, The Strokes, Eminem, 50 Cent, Green Day, Metallica, Arctic Monkeys, Pearl Jam and Muse and more.
A statement from Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn said of Pengelly: “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!”
Pengelly is due to stay on in an advisory and consultative role until March next year to support his as yet unnanounced replacement who is said to be joining on November 9.
Benn added: “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.”
Elsewhere at Festival Republic Natasha Haddad, previously a programmer for MAMA Group, will join Festival Republic on a full-time basis from October 31 as Latitude promoter.
Haddad has worked across a variety of festivals including Wilderness, Lovebox and The Great Escape, the latter of which she has programmed over the past three years, and also operated as a promoter for Mean Fiddler.
She said of her appointment: "I am very excited to be joining Melvin and the Latitude team at Festival Republic. The past five years working with The Great Escape and the wider MAMA team across many different events and festivals have been invaluable, and I wish them all the best for years to come, however I can't wait to start working on the music programme at Latitude for 2013 and onwards."
Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic said: “I am very pleased to be welcoming Natasha into the Festival Republic team and I look forward to working together on our vision for the eighth edition of Latitude and beyond.
“Natasha is well qualified having programmed a number of events and festivals in her previous roles and her addition to the team will, without a doubt, help to keep Latitude the unique and innovative event it already is.”