U2 fined €36k for too-loud Croker gigs

Some might say U2 have been creating noise pollution for years.

And now the Dublin supergroup have been fined €36,000 after they breached noise levels during their Croke Park concerts in July.

Dublin City Council has issued penalties against music promoters MCD after Bono and his bandmates exceeded the allowed limits on a number of occasions during the gigs.

The council said, apart from the noise breaches, all other conditions attached to the Public Event Licence allowing the concerts to go ahead were complied with in full.

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Scottish singing sensation SUSAN BOYLE has hired the man credited with making rockers U2 one of music’s biggest moneymakers as her manager.

The star, who took the world by storm with her extensive vocal range on U.K. reality show Britain’s Got Talent, has hired veteran music moneyman Ossie Kilkenny.

Boyle has already pledged to release her debut album through the show’s judge Simon Cowell’s label, Syco; but the 48 year old singer has decided to augment her management team to include Kilkenny, 62 – the financial guru hailed by Bono and his bandmates.
A source tells the British newspaper the Daily Mirror, “Susan wants to work with Simon, but she and her family have also chosen to bring in Ossie Kilkenny as manager.”

- ContactMusic

RIM, U2 Get On Their Boots

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and veteran rock band U2 have forged a marketing partnership that will drive a wedge between the Irish rockers’ long-standing relationship with Apple.

RIM will be the main sponsor of U2’s upcoming Live Nation-presented 360 Degrees tour in support of the group’s 12th studio album “No Line On The Horizon,” according to a CNBC report.

The move comes as a surprise to some, considering RIM competitor Apple joined forces with U2 five years ago, even launching a limited edition U2-branded Apple iPod in 2005 around the release of “How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.” Apple and U2 worked together more recently when the band released the single for “Get On Your Boots” on iTunes before anywhere else. Continue reading

U2 Attempt To Sell Their Shares In Live Nation

U2 have reportedly attempted to sell their shares in Live Nation after the value plummeted to just over a fifth of the original amount.

The Irish band signed a deal with Live Nation last March that tied them in for 12 years with the band being paid partly with stock.

U2 were given 1.6 million shares with Live Nation guaranteeing that they would be worth $25 million, when the market closed on Wednesday evening in New York they were worth just $6.1 million.

According to the Wall Street Journal Live Nation were they forced to make up the remaining $19 million, in an SEC filing Live Nation said they would do this with cash on hand or borrowed money.

Live Nation last year signed similar deals with Madonna, Jay-Z, Nickelback and Shakira – promising to pay out millions  to artists in return for revenue from the 360 deals which encompassed concerts, fanclubs and merchandise.

Live Nation have moved to play down the U2 stock sale, with Chief Executive Micahel Rapino saying: “Madonna and U2 are the only two deals that did contain this provision. The Madonna business is great, and we look forward to monetizing our investment in U2 next year.”

U2 are set to tour in 2009 with announcement expected to be made in market about the schedule.

- Gigwise

Dublin shelves plans for U2 Tower

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) — Plans to build the tallest building in Ireland – with new recording studios for Irish supergroup U2 on top – were suspended Friday because of Dublin’s slumping property market and slide into recession.

The Dublin Docklands Development Authority said it remains committed to building the long-planned U2 Tower, but a souring economy at home and abroad means the project must be shelved. It expressed hope of reopening negotiations with potential developers within 12 months. Continue reading

The billion dollar band

U2 will still be rocking and coining it when they approach their 60s, after the fine print of their lucrative new deal was revealed this week.

Recession may be the buzzword of the year, but not in U2’s world. The band’s ability to command top dollar seems to be as strong as it always was.

And this week, while students and pensioners took to the streets to protest over a divisive Budget, details of U2’s most recent deal were coming to light.

It was revealed that Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr had received shares totalling €19m as part of their deal with US entertainment giant Live Nation, which was signed amid much industry gossip in March.

The up-front payment — made public after being reported to US regulator Security and Exchange Commission — is effectively a sweetener for signing up to Live Nation’s new model order, and a telling illustration of how crucial the Dublin four-piece is for the US corporation. Continue reading

How U2 have stayed on top of the world

In a rapidly shifting business, Bono and his band have stayed ahead of the game. As they re-release their first albums, manager Paul McGuinness reveals their strategies to Neil McCormick

With recording still ongoing, sleeve designs to be finalised, download visuals to be completed and all kinds of marketing plans to be set into place, the atmosphere is of frantic concentration.

“It’s all hands on deck,” says manager Paul McGuinness, although his smile suggests that, if you have to spend summer in the recording studio, it doesn’t hurt to have your equipment set up in an enclave of luxurious chateaux in Provence, surrounded by holidaying family and friends. McGuinness may have a mobile in his hand and business to take care of, but at least he’s calling from poolside. Continue reading

Paul McGuinness: How To Take Over The World With A Phone

I first met Paul McGuinness (who I interview in today’s paper) in 1978, when he was 27 and I was 16. Which meant, of course, that he seemed impossibly old and I wondered what he was doing hanging around with Bono in the Mount Temple school gymnasium. My band, Frankie Corpse and the Undertakers, were about to support U2 at a gig. I got a firsthand taste of his managerial ruthlessness when he cut our set from thirty minutes to fifteen. Our guitarist, Frankie himself, was philosophical. “We’ll just have to play faster,” he decided. It was punk rock. Fast was good. Continue reading

U2 stars win green light for disputed Dublin hotel

DUBLIN (AFP) – U2 megastars Bono and the Edge have won a green light for a controversial Dublin hotel project designed by renowned architect Norman Foster, they said Thursday.

The Irish multi-millionaires have faced opposition from heritage campaigners over the proposed 150-million-euro (238-million-dollar) reconstruction project of The Clarence hotel, a protected building on the river Liffey waterfront.

But the Irish planning authority, the An Bord Pleanala, has now given it the go-ahead after a long consultation period. Continue reading

Live Nation chairman resigns; shares drop

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Live Nation Inc Chairman Michael Cohl, the driving force behind the concert promoter’s wooing of superstars such as Madonna, has resigned, the company said on Friday after a disagreement over strategy.

Cohl, who was head of Live Nation’s artists division, has moved to a consultant role and stepped down from the board, the company said. Live Nation’s shares fell almost 10 percent in anticipation of the news carried in earlier reports.

At issue are “360 deals” under which Live Nation signed major name artists such as Madonna and Jay-Z, giving them big upfront payments in exchange for financial rights to nearly all their business activities, from recording to licensing, according to a person familiar with the talks. Continue reading