- 01 Nov 18
There was a huge turn-out in Dublin this afternoon, for the funeral of ground-breaking promoter, John Reynolds.
A hugely influential member of the Irish music scene for almost 30 years, John Reynolds was perhaps best-known for setting up some of the country's biggest music festivals, including Electric Picnic, All Together Now, Forbidden Fruit and Metropolis. The shocking news of his sudden death emerged late last week.
John’s family had a background in music in Longford, where he grew up. A nephew of the late former Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds of Fianna Fáil, he first made his name as the founder of the POD nightclub – and from there he gradually established himself as one of the leading lights in Irish management and promotion. He was involved in the launch of Boyzone with Louis Walsh, and subsequently invested in Bellefire, the all-girl protégés of Louis', who came tantalisingly close to making a major international commercial breakthrough.
John Reynolds was the brains behind the original Electric Picnic, guiding the event through its initial ten years before Festival Republic took over the running of the iconic festival in Stradbally. He also ran Forbidden Fruit, which is still one of Dublin’s most successful festival events, and helped to launch Body and Soul. He subsequently unveiled Metropolis in the RDS and, this year, added the highly successful All Together Now to his suite of events.
John's funeral took place today at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Donnybrook, Dublin 4 at 2.30pm.
It was a very sad and moving occasion, with a profound sense of loss evident in the packed church. But it was also a celebration of John Reynolds' life and his achievements. Those present included Robbie Butler, Irina Eastwood, Will Rolfe, Sean Stevens, Clare Byrne, Elaine Byrne, Declan Forde, Niall Sweeney and many more from the wider POD family, Louis Walsh, Paul Smith of JustLite, Peter Aiken and Brendan Berry of Aiken Promotions, film director Jim Sheridan, Dave Allen of Whelan's, Naoise Nunn, promoter Vince Power, Dominick Kelly, David Bell, Keith English of Ticketmaster, Willie Kavanagh, John O’Mahoney, Lorraine Keane, Johnny Moy, Aoife Woodlock, Guggi, Fran Quigley of CAVS, Ciaran Cannon of Fianna Fáil, Robert from Trocadero, Paddy Dunning and his wife Claire, Eoin Foyle, David Heffernan, Eamon Ryan of the Green Party, Marty Whelan, Lise Hand, Barry Egan and his wife Aoife Mac Giolla Rí, Sir Nicholas Nugent of Goff’s, BP Fallon, Victoria Mary Clarke, Nick Seymour of Crowded House, Facthna O’Kelly, Glenda Gilson, solicitor John O’Connor, Paddy Freeney, Robbie Fox, renowned DJ Mark Kavanagh of The Star, Harry Crosbie, Michael Wright and Máírín Sheehy and Duan Stokes of Hot Press – as well as far too many others to list here in full.
The funeral began with a rendition of 'So Long Marianne' by Damien Rice. A little later, the Dublin Gospel Choir sang a short but brilliant version of 'Hallelujah', and – as the coffin was being carried from the church – Paul Buchanan of The Blue Nile performed his song, 'Peace At Last', with Gavin Glass. John's brother James delivered a wonderful eulogy, which was by turns very moving and funny, capturing the mood of the man himself brilliantly.
Others who participated in the service included Angela Reynolds, Tom Reynolds, Leonie Reynolds, Georgia Pope, Alex Pope, Linda Monaghan, Peter Devlin, Diane Vesey, Vanessa Clarke, Brian Hand, Siobhan O'Dowd, Stephen Murray and Fr. Tom Healy.
Afterwards, the coffin was taken to the crematorium at Mount Jerome. There, Niall Sweeney, Robbie Butler, Gale Scanlan of IMMA, Avril Stanley and David Bell all reflected movingly on John Reynold's life, his gifts as a visionary promoter and his qualities as a man. It was a very sad and emotional day.