How George W is coining it in from Britain's music festivals

Did you know that US politicians profit from the price you pay to enjoy yourselves at Latitude, etc? The IoS tells all

It is the summer of love of live music. A festival fiesta with more than a million fans paying to watch top-name bands at the 500-plus music events that are now held across the UK.

But as they put their hands deeper into their pockets for tickets, few fans will be aware that their cash is lining the pockets of corporate America; fewer still that some of it may find its way to support the US President, George Bush.

"Live music is booming," says the Performing Rights Society (PRS), which estimates it will reap record-breaking revenues of £1.5bn this year in the UK alone. Riding the crest of this boom is Live Nation, the world's largest live entertainment promoter.

The company has established itself as the predominant player in the UK festival scene, owning O2 Wireless, Download, Hyde Park Calling, and a controlling interest in Leeds, Reading and Latitude, as well as playing a big role in running Glastonbury.

The company, based in Beverly Hills, California, boasts that last year it brought together 64 million fans at 28,000 events in 18 countries. Its control of the industry includes its ownership of several venues, deals promoting shows at Wembley and the Academy venues, and artists ranging from Madonna to Jay-Z.

But Live Nation has faced growing criticism.The PRS has accused it of cutting artists off from money their talent generates. "The creators of the music are seeing their revenue squeezed because their income is based on a fixed percentage of only one element of the total value," said a PRS spokesperson, Aidan Crookes. "Food, drink and merchandise are the growth area for live music, as well as the secondary ticket via online sites, of which the songwriters receive no cut," he says.

Live Nation's links to the US media giant Clear Channel Communications could prove contentious. Live Nation was spun-off from Clear Channel in 2005. Live Nation stresses it is no longer part of the parent, but the companies share directors. Live Nation's board members include Lowry Mays, also chairman of Clear Channel, Mark Mays, chief financial officer for Clear Channel, and Randall Mays, son of Lowry. Lowry Mays is a close friend and financial associate of the Bush family and a big donor to the Republican Party.

Clear Channel was accused of cronyism when it dropped the US shock-jock Howard Stern's radio show after he criticised Mr Bush. Clear Channel stations were among those who dumped the Dixie Chicks after they questioned US involvement in Iraq.

Clear Channel has been linked in a $26bn (£13bn) deal with two US companies, one of which, Bain Capital, was founded by the former Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who still holds a blind investment in it.

Michael Eavis, the founder of Glastonbury, said: "I could argue I wouldn't want to associate with Clear Channel, but I get on very well with Michael Rapino [CEO of Live Nation]. I don't have a problem with the Bush thing."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas carried Lady Edith over the flames in her bedroom in Downton Abbey series five

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, seated next to a picture of his missing wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits