U2 – protesters plan demo against the bands tax affairs at Glasto

U2’s headline slot at Glastonbury could be marked with a faintly embarrassing demonstration about their alleged tax affairs.
Tax protesters, Art Uncut, will greet the band with a giant bundle of fake cash to campaign against the band’s “convoluted” tax affairs. There has been criticism of U2 in the past when some of their business was moved from ireland to Holland a move which was believed to be in response to a cap on lucrative tax breaks for artists in the republic.
Art Uncut claim that “Bono claims to care about the developing world, but U2 greedily indulges in the very kind of tax avoidance which is crippling the poor nations of this wo a spokesperson for One, the anti-poverty campaign group co-founded by Bono replied “U2’s business arrangements have nothing to do with illegal tax evasion and transfer mispricing in developing countries, critical issues which Bono and One campaign on.”

On one hand it’s great that at least someone can be arsed about the fucked up world situation but when you are that rich it can seem a tad awkward and does raise questions…

Are U2 more deserving of this comment than other bands?
Is Bono’s campaign against world poverty whilst being in one of the biggest money making bands in the world starting to grate?
Is the millionaires against poverty of the rich rock elite the ultimate decadence?
Does it drive you made when rich rock stars ask you to cough up for charity?
Or do you think at least Bono is putting something back? and that he is like a saint?

comment please!

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. These people are a but simple really. Less tax paid leaves them with more money and able to control where it goes rather than paying more taxes to politicians to use it to pay for wars or to support the lying and cheating scum bags on benefits!

  2. I like U2’s music, or at least the early stuff, but if they’re found to be guilty of tax avoidance then they should be treated and consequently sentenced the same as how Saint Bono has previously publicly stated how filesharers to be treated; the same as paedophiles.

    ‘Let he who casts the first stone’ and all that…

  3. Whilst it’s difficult to find fault with anyone’s attempts to generate goodwill and support towards important charities, it rankles whenever Bono opens his mouth on the subject. Tax breaks, spending over $100m on a stage show that featured a 40ft lemon… these are among the many things that make one wonder why Bono can’t just spend some of his own fucking money. But I’m sure he does.

    Maybe it’s his tone of voice, maybe it’s the way he carries himself, I dunno. But he certainly comes across as sanctimonious rather than well-meaning, which is a shame.

    His band are shit, mind.

  4. If only I had the money to afford to avoid paying tax.
    And Yossarian, some of our taxes goto schools, hospitals, libraries, galleries, old people…

  5. Every single penny of ‘benefits’ paid to the poor are but a straight subsidy and undisguised grant to the private sector business community. Do you really think Neo liberal politicians and the business elite ( tax avoiders ) would hand out anything for free without something being in it for them.


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