When the most hypercritical band of a generation take to the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury this evening, they will be met with a mass protest at their decision to move parts of their business from the Republic of Ireland to the tax haven of the Netherlands. The controversy started back in 2006 when the Republic of Ireland put a cap on generous tax breaks for artists in the Republic and U2 couldn't have moved parts of their business quicker. The decision to avoid paying these taxes has sparked fury, especially given that Bono is an anti-poverty lobbyist
The direct action group, Art Uncut, have organised a protest at the Glastonbury festival; a protest that will begin as the band walk on stage. U2 will be met with a serious of banners condemning their decision to avoid tax. The group plan to unveil a giant inflatable before the television camera's as Bono walks on to the Pyramid stage this evening.
The decision taken by U2 has sparked outrage amongst anti-poverty campaigners who have accused Bono and his band of blatant hypocrisy. The view from many is how can Bono maintain his credibility and continue to preach ill of poverty across the world when he himself is depriving the Irish Republic of millions of pounds a year. Even more shocking for campaigners is the revelation in The Times that Bono and three other member of his band are among the highest paid musicians in the world with a combined fortune of £455m.
U2 would not be headlining the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury this evening if it wasn't for the people of Ireland who have been loyal fans of the band for twenty five years. To deprive the people of Ireland, the people who made their success possible, the tax that the country needs at the current time is scandalous. Bono and his band should be ashamed of themselves and the protest tonight is right to raise these issues.
This evening sees a star studded line up at Glastonbury as Morrissey and Primal Scream will take to the stage before headliners U2. Heavy rain is forecasted this afternoon and the 170,000 strong crowds will in all likelihood watch the U2 set in a 90 acre mud bath. More rain is expected later and on Saturday but sunshine is forecast for Sunday.
Last year's event saw some of the hottest and driest conditions in Glastonbury's history.
Police made more than 30 arrests in the days leading up to the start of the festival, the majority drug related.