Protests Planned For U2’s Glastonbury Set

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June 4, 2011 | 9:30am EST

Campaigners in Britain are planning to target U2 during the band’s set at the upcoming Glastonbury festival as part of a protest over the band’s tax issues.
The Irish group is set to headline the massive music event in England later this month, a year after they were forced to pull out because of frontman Bono’s back problems.

However, the rockers are facing opposition from activists at the Art Uncut campaign group, who plan to demonstrate during the band’s set over the group’s decision to move part of its business set-up to the Netherlands in 2006 after Irish officials capped tax breaks for artists.

A spokesman for Art Uncut tells Britain’s The Guardian, “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 world. We will be showing the very real impact of U2’s tax avoidance on hospitals and schools in Ireland. Anyone watching (the Glastonbury protest) will be very much aware that Bono needs to pay up.”

A spokesperson for Bono’s anti-poverty campaign group, One, says, “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.”

U2’s manager Paul McGuinness has previously said of the band’s tax set-up, “U2 is a global business and pays taxes globally… At least 95 per cent of U2’s business… takes place outside of Ireland and as a result the band pays many different kinds of taxes all over the world.”