Add one more big name to the Live Nation artist roster: U2. The Dubliners are expected to sign a 12-year deal with Live Nation in the coming months. The deal is to include touring, merchandising and the band’s Web site. The longstanding relationship with Universal Music for recording and publishing is not affected.
"U2 has created some of the greatest rock music of all time and their career has been uniquely successful," Live Nation Chairman of the Board Michael Cohl said in a statement. "It has long been our intention to consolidate and extend our relationship with U2, so this is a very exciting deal for us. The band has always been forward thinking and as one of our original and most successful artists, we are delighted to be able to work with them for many years into the future."
U2’s Bono added, "We’ve been dating for over 20 years now, it’s about time we tied the knot. With regards to U2.com, we feel we’ve got a great website, but we want to make it a lot better. We want a closer, more direct relationship between the band and its audience and Live Nation has pledged to help us with that."
The deal is not shocking. Live Nation Global Touring CEO Arthur Fogel has produced every U2 tour since PopMart in 1997.
"Our long relationship with U2 has endured and flourished over the years,” Fogel said. “This is an opportunity to move forward with them while building on the past, utilizing our unparalleled global marketing platform to expand U2’s universe into the future."
Paul McGuinness, U2’s Manager said, "U2 are doing their best work right now, on record and in concert. The opportunity to integrate U2 and Live Nation’s vision of the future is a great extension of our established business and of our working relationship with Arthur Fogel and Michael Cohl, which started back in 1980 at the El Mocambo in Toronto."