AEG Gets Stones For Europe

AEG Live has brought in Sensible Events chief Andrew Zweck as the new European tour coordinator for The Rolling Stones and the band is looking to play a run of shows in the summer. 

Photo: Dave Needle
Honda Center, Anaheim, Calif.

Zweck, who has run record-breaking global tours for Roger Waters and Depeche Mode, will be working on a consultancy basis for AEG Live, which is handling the business for the rest of the world.

This latest change in the Stones’ touring team appears to be part of the fallout from Live Nation’s legal wrangles with former company chairman Michael Cohl.

Eighteen months ago, LN and Cohl issued a brief joint statement that they had amicably settled lawsuits pertaining to a non-compete agreement filed almost two years earlier.

Live Nation had sued Cohl for more than $5 million, claiming the latter had defaulted on $5.35 million in payments for specific promotion rights.

In hindsight it appears the $5.35 million due from Cohl was wiped in order for both parties to make a joint-bid for future Stones tours.

However, the issues surrounding the falling out and the publication of court documents are believed to have caused the act to become disenchanted with both parties.

After the legal issues, the Stones informed Cohl and his legal team they perceived a “spat” and did not want to get dragged into it.

The band later released a statement saying they had no exclusive tour promoter because there were no “firm” plans to tour at that time.

The next shows were promoted by Virgin Live, a joint venture between Australia’s Paul Dainty and Virgin Group’s Richard Branson, with Stuart Galbraith of Kilimanjaro Live involved in the UK run.

Though the Virgin Live venture successfully did the Stones’ brief November and December tour in 2012, it appears plans – and likely financing – fell short to remain on board for a more traditional tour.

In fact, the next Australian dates are believed to be going to Michael Gudinski’s Frontier Touring.

Although Zweck was contracted to LN at the time of its row with Cohl, he doesn’t appear to have been damaged by it.

He’s been out of that contract and once again fully independent for a little more than a year, spending the last nine months renting premises from Barrie Marshall’s Marshall Arts, which is part-owned by AEG Live and believed to be where the new arrangement with Zweck was first fostered.