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
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian

film
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Led Zeppelin

music
Arts and Entertainment
Radio presenter Scott Mills will be hitting the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has taken home the prize for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Paige and Scott Lowell in Queer as Folk (Season 5)
tvA batch of shows that 'wouldn't get past a US network' could give tofu sales an unexpected lift
Arts and Entertainment
books... but seller will be hoping for more
Arts and Entertainment
John Kearns winner of the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award with last years winners: Bridget Christie and Frank Skinner
comedyJohn Kearns becomes the first Free Fringe act to win the top prize
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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.

    Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

    The phoney war is over

    Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
    From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

    Salomé: A head for seduction

    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
    From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

    British Library celebrates all things Gothic

    Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
    The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

    Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

    The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

    In search of Caribbean soul food

    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
    11 best face powders

    11 best face powders

    Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
    England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
    Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone