U2 and its frontman Bono are known for their global poverty-fighting efforts but activists plan to protest their performance Friday at England's Glastonbury festival, accusing the Irish band of dodging taxes.
The anti-capitalist group Art Uncut said it would hold a protest with banners and placards in front of TV cameras filming the U2 gig on the festival's main Pyramid Stage.
Member Charlie Dewar criticized singer Bono as he said that while the U2 singer campaigns against poverty in the developing world, he has avoided paying Irish taxes at a time when his austerity-hit country desperately needs money.
Ireland, which has already accepted an international bailout, is suffering through deep spending cuts, tax hikes and rising unemployment as it tries to pull the debt-burdened economy back from brink of bankruptcy.
"Tax(es) nestling in the band's bank account should be helping to keep open the hospitals, schools and libraries that are closing all over Ireland," Dewar said.
U2, the country's most successful band, had already faced harsh criticism in 2006 for moving its corporate base from Ireland to the Netherlands, where royalties on music incur virtually no tax.
U2 singer Bono, guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen, are among the country's wealthiest residents. Forbes magazine has estimated the band earned $195 million last year, mostly through its hugely profitable "360 Degrees" world tour.
Activists point out that during the years when Ireland's economy was "booming", the members of U2 invested in a wide range of Dublin properties, including a luxury riverside hotel and a planned Norman Foster-designed skyscraper on the River Liffey, however plans for the "U2 Tower" were shelved when property prices collapsed in 2008.
U2 is headlining the first night of the three-day Glastonbury festival, and it is the fiorst time the band plays at the world famous summer music festival.