Festival Republic has announced the appointment of Jon McIldowie, previously Promotions Director for the MAMA Group, to the role of Talent Buyer for its Reading and Leeds festivals. McIldowie, more commonly known in the industry as Jon Mac, takes over from Neil Pengelly, the Reading Festival’s long time booker, who announced he was departing from the company last month.
Mac has worked for MAMA for over a decade (originally for Channelfly, one of the companies that morphed into MAMA) booking venues, tours and increasingly festivals, including Lovebox and the newer Wilderness event, as well as The Great Escape, the showcase festival and music business convention that he co-founded in 2006. In a statement confirming its new recruit, Festival Republic noted that: “Jon’s reputation and experience in booking small rooms, as well as multi-stage outdoor festivals, will be of much benefit in the next phase of the Reading & Leeds Festivals”.
Meanwhile Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn told CMU: “I am very pleased to announce that Jon will be joining the team at Festival Republic and taking Reading and Leeds Festivals forward into 2013 and beyond. This is an exciting time for the festivals, with a fresh look for next year, and I can’t wait to start working with Jon to ensure both Reading and Leeds remain the highlight of the festival season for many years to come”.
Mac himself added: “After twelve incredible years with MAMA it’s time for a new challenge. I’ve grown up with Reading and Leeds and look forward to joining the team at Festival Republic to play a part in the next chapter of one of the world’s most important live music events”.
Mac’s move to Festival Republic will also see him stand down as a Director of The Great Escape, the MAMA-owned showcase festival and music business convention he co-founded with Glastonbury booker Martin Elbourne. In his place in that role, Kat Morris, currently Operations Manager for TGE, will become Managing Director of the event, having already stepped up her role in co-ordinating both the festival and convention in recent years.
Confirming that change, Elbourne told CMU: “After seven great editions of The Great Escape, I’d like to personally thank Jon for his co-founding and subsequent management of our event. While we are obviously sad to see him move on, I am very pleased that Kat Morris, after starting with The Great Escape in its second year and having made such a significant difference to the event over the years, is able to step up to the role of Managing Director. I think Kat is more than capable of growing our much respected event even further, and indeed leaving TGE with such a strong team in place is one of Jon’s many achievements”.
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