Artist News Business News Gigs & Festivals Legal Live Business Top Stories

Stones say no tour plans, despite lawsuit over who might promote

By | Published on Thursday 3 February 2011

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have issued a statement following news that legendary promoter Michael Cohl’s legal dispute with Live Nation had their touring plans at its heart.

As previously reported, Live Nation last year sued Cohl claiming he had defaulted on payments he agreed to make to the live music conglom when he quit as the company’s chairman in 2008. He agreed to pay his former employer millions over a number of years in return for keeping some of the assets and artist relationships he had brought to Live Nation when it bought his CPL company in 2006.

Earlier this week Cohl counter-sued claiming the reason he had stopped making those payments was because Live Nation had breached the 2008 agreement by trying to compete with him in securing the rights to promote the next Stones tour. Cohl has had a long relationship with the aging rockers as their primary promoter, and he argued that the right to maintain that relationship was the “crown jewel” of his agreement with Live Nation, and that by meddling with that right the live music conglom had breached their deal.

All of this was more interesting because the countersuit discussed a possible 2011 fiftieth anniversary Stones tour, something which the band hadn’t previously mentioned. And that, a spokesman for the band said yesterday, is because there are currently no plans to tour this year, and no deal has been done with either Cohl or Live Nation either about any future live projects. However, that’s not to say there won’t be a tour this year, nor that the band won’t work with Cohl or Live Nation in the future.

The band’s statement said: “In light of recent reports surrounding the ‘breach of contract’ court case in America between Live Nation Entertainment and former Live Nation chairman Michael Cohl, The Rolling Stones wish to clarify their position regarding representation and touring. Following the end of the 2007 ‘A Bigger Bang’ world tour, The Rolling Stones became free from any contractual arrangements or agreements with Michael Cohl. He is neither their representative nor their tour promoter. Also the Stones confirmed today they have no firm plans to tour at this time”.

And just to ensure there is no confusion, the statement added that the band currently have two active business deals in place, one for recordings and one for merchandise, and both with Universal Music subsidiaries.