Title from Festelle VHS tape
|Years active||1983 to 2006|
Festelle was a long-standing female and mixed wrestling company that was started by Phil Ryder in 1983 in London, England in collaboration with Phil Barrett. The first two videos tapes (FV1 and FV2) were recorded at private indoor events, but following the success of these videos they organised a live event at a public house in south London, England in November 1983. The video recording of fights from this event (FV3) are still available on the Festelle website e.g. Lorna vs. Sherry. All the matches were topless, which broke new ground in England at this time and led to the event being a success. The two founders continued to jointly run the company until the late eighties at which point Phil Barrett decided to leave, subsequently setting up his own TPC production company. Allegedly he was unhappy with the use of public house venues following the printing of a newspaper story which generated bad publicity, and also with the company direction. With TPC he used private venues only and did not feature nude or erotic wrestling.
For the next 12 years live events continued to be a regular happenings for Festelle with over 150 fighters appearing in some 300 matches at 15 different venues in south and north-west London. The audience was usually around 30 to 40 depending on the size of the venue and the nature of the fights. Some indoor semi-private events, often featuring nude or erotic wrestling, were also held with smaller audiences. By 1995 the growth of the video market meant that Festelle was able to offer more videos of different styles to customers without the effort of staging live shows, so Phil Ryder decided to stop the public live events. The last public show was held in the summer of 1995 at a public house in Putney, London. With the ending of the larger public shows Festelle concentrated on private or semi-private events many of which featured nude matches held indoors or in the gardens of private houses.
The Festelle company seems to have ceased operations around November 2006 and is now listed as having been dissolved. However Phil Ryder still operates his own distribution company for the catalogue of Festelle products - Copper Tree Customs - which uses the Clips4Sale platform.
Well-known wrestlers who have either started their careers at Festelle or been regular performers for the company include