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Last Updated: Friday, 20 August, 2004, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Festival row boss meets Fiddler
Nirvana's Kurt Cobain
The guitar Kurt Cobain played at the festival is the main attraction
The 80-year-old founder of the Reading Festival has met with its backers for the first time after a falling out nearly 12 years ago.

Harold Pendleton fell out with current organiser Mean Fiddler in 1992 when it took control of the festival he had set up 20 years before.

The two sides came together on Thursday night for the opening of Reading Museum's festival exhibition.

The main attraction of the show is a smashed-up guitar used by Kurt Cobain.

There is a sense that it is about time that the town recognised what the festival has done for Reading.
Cat John, museum spokeswoman
Cobain used the guitar during Nirvana's famed performance at the 1992 festival during which he arrived on stage in a wheelchair.

About 240 guests - including Radio One's Steve Lamacq and NME's Steve Sutherland - turned up at the museum to see the launch of the Music, Mud and Mayhem exhibition.

Museum spokeswoman Cat John said the evening was the first time Mr Pendleton had met with the Mean Fiddler - represented by managing director Melvin Benn - since the fall-out.

She told BBC News Online: "Everybody was really interested by the exhibits and couldn't believe how much time had passed."

Eighty thousand fans

The exhibition also features items from the Stranglers and the Foo Fighters and showcases music, memorabilia and film from the festival since it first arrived in the Berkshire town in 1971.

The festival is now in its 30th year after promoters failed to get a licence for two years in the 1980s.

The August Bank Holiday weekend festival is said to bring in more than 7m to the town and attracts about 80,000 fans.

Ms John said: "There is a sense that it is about time that the town recognised what the festival has done for Reading."

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