"U2, Cohl To Take $100 Mil Tour"

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Baseline Inc. and The Hollywood Reporter, 1996

U2, Cohl To Take $100 Mil Tour

By Jefferey Jolson-Colburn

In a deal worth more than $100 million, rock group U2 and manager Paul McGuinness have reportedly granted Toronto-based concert promoter Michael Cohl rights to handle the group's upcoming stadium tour, sources said.

However, the offer was made with the proviso that Cohl goes into equal partnership on the tour with a possibly unwilling Creative Artists Agency, who originally made an offer to U2 in partnership with Bill Graham Presents.

However, BGP was turned down in a series of faxes Thursday to suitors, as was Metropolitan Entertainment Group, both of which were told they were the two finalists. Neither was told Cohl was still in the running until Thursday.

Cohl would reportedly be a unwelcome bedfellow for CAA, which views him as a competitor.

John Scher of Metropolitan and his associate on the offer, U.K. promoter Harvey Goldsmith, are reportedly hopping mad, especially after being called to Dublin along with CAA and BGP to present offers.

Cohl was thought to be out of the running due to a Canadian government investigation of his old firm, Concert Prods. Inc. that it charged superstars like U2 an extra fee for a nonexistent tax.

U2 reportedly investigated the charges and found to their satisfaction that Cohl was not responsible, sources said.

However, the apparently still want Cohl working with an independent partner of their choice.

CAA and Cohl reportedly have 45 days to work out a deal on what could be the biggest-grossing concert tour ever.

Other unsuccessful bidders reportedly included Pace concerts and ICM.

Cohl's new the Next Adventure Inc. company, which he formed after leaving Toronto-based Concert Prods. Inc., scored a coup in obtaining national promotion honors for the 1987/88 tour -- the only major stadium tour scheduled for that time.

The band is working on its new studio album, with aims to complete it in July or August for an anticipated October release.

Cohl was the national promoter on the Rolling Stones tour in 1994, which grossed $121 million that year to rank as the largest ever. Observers believe the upcoming U2 tour could eclipse that figure.

Copyright © 1996 The Hollywood Reporter and Baseline Inc. All rights reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on March 26, 1996 7:55 PM.

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