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January 29th, 2006

question @ 11:26 pm

yeshayahu:
first off, u2 is my favorite band, so don't get defensive as if this is a slight against them, i'm just trying to figure something out.

how can they be so adament in their fighting against poverty and injustice, etc., when they sell tshrits at the shows for $85 and tix cost over $100?!?! i don't get it. they could take a cut in their huge salary, no? it seems to be a very contradictory thing.
 
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From:milk_flowers
Date:January 29th, 2006 04:26 am (UTC)
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Gotta pay for those tours/huge venues/production costs somehow?
From:stdivine
Date:January 29th, 2006 04:30 am (UTC)
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The tshirts that were high priced were the tshirts that EDUN (Bono and Ali's fashion line) made which in turn means the money spent on those shirts went to the Africans that made the shirts. ;)
From:yeshayahu
Date:January 29th, 2006 02:20 pm (UTC)
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now that is what i'm talking about! if i'd known that, i'd have spent the $$$ :)
From:leelee_cakes
Date:January 29th, 2006 04:47 am (UTC)
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I'd say the majority of that money would go to all the immense costs of a tour. And in terms of ticket costs/merch costs, for a band of U2's stature they could easily charge a hell of a lot more and still be sold out. Their ticket prices, esp. the GAs are very reasonable, imo.
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From:hew_
Date:January 29th, 2006 05:28 am (UTC)
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especially when they don't have any sponsors...
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From:mangoprophetess
Date:January 29th, 2006 05:33 am (UTC)
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That is a *really* good point. I mean, how many other bands can you say would make the best seats (well, tickets) in the house the least expensive without having Verizon or some other multi-billion dollar company "present" the band?
From:tiffiny_
Date:January 29th, 2006 06:18 am (UTC)
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I believe some of the charges have to do with the venue as well.
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From:kohls_samurai
Date:January 29th, 2006 07:08 am (UTC)
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Maybe I misheard this, but it was my understanding all the profit after expenses from their tour was going to third world relief?
From:yeshayahu
Date:January 29th, 2006 02:21 pm (UTC)
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that's what i'm HOPING the case is, and if so, i have no problem with the cost and would gladly spend much more.
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From:kernelm
Date:January 29th, 2006 07:30 am (UTC)
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How would cheaper tickets and tour shirts help with fighting poverty?
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From:christine1701
Date:January 29th, 2006 07:40 am (UTC)
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that is the real question.
From:yeshayahu
Date:January 29th, 2006 02:24 pm (UTC)
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no no, i'm not saying that would help fight poverty. i'm saying for them to charge that much to, what apparently, is just making them all the more richer when they're already incredibly rich seems hypocritical if they're concern for the 3rd world and debt relief and fighting poverty is as they say. that was my point. if they are putting lots of the money back into those efforts, i'm all for spending the money. but what i want to know is are they just pocketing it all like every other rock star, or are they giving back from the huge revenue? for those who critisize bono and say he's a meglomaniacal hypocrite, that is one of their main points. i want to be able to say that's not the case to those types.
From:dirtstar
Date:January 29th, 2006 07:42 am (UTC)
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We really have no idea what they do with the profit from the tour, nor is it our business.

They charge what the market will bear - what we fans are willing to pay. That does not, in my mind, have any bearing or conflict with their fight against poverty and injustice.
From:striped_bouncer
Date:January 29th, 2006 09:29 am (UTC)
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I second that.
From:yeshayahu
Date:January 29th, 2006 02:25 pm (UTC)
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it is our business if we take bono's message seriously, and i do! the man doesn't need all that money, those he says he's fighting for do.
From:dirtstar
Date:January 29th, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC)
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I disagree. Bono is still a private citizen, not a publicly elected official. He doesn't answer to anyone but himself.
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From:reecord2
Date:January 29th, 2006 11:57 am (UTC)
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I admit, I agree that the merch is wayyy too expensive, but the tickets are alot cheaper than a lot of comparable rock acts (Rolling Stones for one)
From:yeshayahu
Date:January 29th, 2006 02:26 pm (UTC)
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yes, but the rolling stones lack a conscience. they don't care about anything besides being geriatric rock stars who should've quit 20 years ago!!! bono & the boys are supposed to stand for something.
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From:thanks4thefish
Date:January 29th, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC)
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As has been aluded to in this thread, U2 make very little money on their tours because they pour so much into the production, and don't have sponsorship. ZOO TV and PopMart each cost $250,000 A DAY to keep on the road, show or no show. In fact, those $85 shirts are the difference between making money and losing money on the tour.

As for Money for the developing world, to ask to give our money, or even to give their own would be throwing money down a hole. The problems in Africa are systemic, and are caused, in no small part, by policies adopted by the industrialized world. Our money and U2's money would make very little difference in the grand scheme of things, which is why Bono uses his position to try to sway world leaders to change their policies. And why he said over and over again on this tour that "we're not asking for your money, we're asking for your voice." He has realized it's far more valuable to show world leaders that the people they represent want to see changes, rather than handing them a bag of money that, in the end, will make very little difference.
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From:thanks4thefish
Date:January 29th, 2006 02:46 pm (UTC)
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Reading your replies to the comments, you seem to be missing a fundamental point. Lower ticket prices would do nothing to solve the problems Bono advocates for. U2 have worked incredibly hard to get to where they are, for a long time. Why should they not be entitled to enjoy their success. And the paying public gets their money's worth for the price of a concert ticket. If you're so torn up about their prices, don't pay them, but don't blame U2 for charging them.

Just because U2 have a conscience they should live in poverty??

Suppose you are a lawyer. And the going market rate for your services is $200/hour. What you're saying is that because you have a conscience, you shouldn't make that kind of money, and anyone who does is selfish. Do you see the flaw in your logic? There's nothing inherently wrong in you making that salary. The choice you have is to use your skills and your time to work for things you believe in.

That's what U2 does. They have a conscience so they use their role and their profile to draw attention to issues most people might otherwise care little about.
From:yeshayahu
Date:January 29th, 2006 03:11 pm (UTC)
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i understand that. but, i do think it does take a little credibility out of the message when the messangers are so incredibly rich. now, idealistically as a socialist, i don't think anyone should be rich when there are so many poor people, but yes, u2 deserve (some) of their excesses, b/c we the fans give them to them (just like w/ athelets, etc.). the problem i get is people who hate the band, bono in particular, saying "oh their full of it, they're so rich, blah blah blah", and i want a legitimate argument to counter that. i don't personally have a qualm with paying the prices, my love for the band is worth a few hundred. i just think that there may be some validity to saying it's hard to take rich people talking about helping the poor seriously, often times. i do take bono seriously, but many do not and that's why. sporting $300 leather jackets and $200 glasses and saying "feed the children" is hard for many to comprehend.
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From:davefilkins
Date:January 29th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC)
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I know exactly where you're coming from... I used to ask myself the same thing. Then I thought about it this way.

Bono's humanitarian efforts are not perfect... and Bono will gladly admit that any day. Read any of his interviews and you'll see how humble he is when it comes to the human condition around the world. He may get in people's faces about the issues, but he never says that he is better than anybody else because he is part of it. He flaunts his musicianship (which, with all rights, he should!) but he never says that he's perfect in regard to his efforts to end poverty. However, he does a hell of a lot and still gets a lot of flack for it.

Why is it that we expect all our philanthropists to be perfect? Everybody can't be Gandhi here... and who the hell are we to judge? When's the last time any of us have promoted business efforts in Africa or met one on one with world leaders to discuss increasing efforts to end poverty?

Why take out our frustration on Bono who gets the $200 sunglasses AND helps children instead of the countless other people around the globe (thousands of rich musicians, actors, lawyers, doctors, and politicians to be included) who get those same sunglasses, yet do NOTHING?
From:yeshayahu
Date:January 29th, 2006 05:26 pm (UTC)
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i completely agree with you.
From:striped_bouncer
Date:January 30th, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC)
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Very intelligent thoughts. I truly agree with what you said.
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From:boriel
Date:January 30th, 2006 03:17 am (UTC)
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good question and i'm so glad to join this discussion late and find that its just that - a discussion (respectful, thoughtful etc, not a shouting match)

as someone already said, Zoo tv cost a quarter million a day, every day, even on days there were no shows. rumor is that without merchandize sales, the band would have not even broken even, let alone gotten a paycheck that year - which they had to split 5 ways too.

as well, when they were in vancouver, i started counting bodies (crew etc) They employ a virtual city of people that depend on them for livelihood, not just the paycheck, but the travel, food, hotel etc, and again rumor is that each crew get their own hotel room unlike most other bands who cram them in 2, 3 and 4 to a hotel room.

but yes, its a conundrum. living in what most of us consider affluence can put a weird spin on the same person asking for money over and over. last rumor is that the band donate a lot of their own money frequently...without wanting to draw attention to it. alot...like millions. (again just a rumor)

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