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Coldplay countersue former manager for £14 million

Coldplay are counter-suing their former manager Dave Holmes for £14 million (€16.2m), according to a report.

It was revealed last month that Holmes is seeking more than £10 million (€11.7m) in allegedly unpaid commission in his lawsuit against the band.

Representatives for Holmes, who worked with the group for more than 20 years prior to being dismissed last year, say the band are “refusing to honour [his] management contract and pay him what he is owed”.  The group “vigorously disputed” the allegations and have now launched a counter-claim.

Court documents seen by The Times show that Holmes is accused of failing to “adequately to supervise and control” the budget for the band’s ongoing Music of The Spheres World Tour.

Among the claims are that Holmes ordered a $9.7m video screen – that was only used for 10 gigs and was too big to take on tour – and 16 bespoke stage pylons at a cost of €10.6m that turned out to be unusable.

“Had Mr Holmes exercised reasonable care and skill in the performance of his obligations, the band would not have incurred costs of at least £17.5 million,” it is alleged in the documents.

In addition, Coldplay allege that Holmes leveraged his position as manager to secure $30 million in loans from Live Nation, which they claim could have created a conflict of interest in tour negotiations.

Holmes is suing Coldplay in the UK High Court for breach of contract

“To the best of [our] knowledge… Mr Holmes used monies obtained by the loan agreements to fund a property development venture in or around Vancouver, Canada,” adds the band’s filing. “It is to be inferred that Mr Holmes was only able to acquire loans totalling $30 million at a fixed annual interest rate of 2.72% from Live Nation by virtue of his position as Coldplay’s manager.”

In a statement to The Times, Live Nation says that it “has a strong and longstanding relationship with Coldplay, adding that: “Any past dealings with their management team were considered an extension of this relationship.”

Holmes, who is suing Coldplay in the UK High Court for breach of contract, and the band began working together on two-album cycles from 2014, with his most recent deal, covering 2019’s Everyday Life and 2021’s Music of the Spheres.

He alleges that he began planning for the group’s next two albums – plus preparations for their 2024/25 tours – after his contract was extended to 2025. However, shortly afterwards, Coldplay claimed the deal had not yet been agreed to and that his previous agreement had ended.

The manager says he was then informed by the band’s solicitor that they wanted to change his role to ‘head of touring’ and limit his commission to just concerts. He alleges he was given two drafts of the new contract in August 2022, only for the band to later withdraw the offer and inform him through their solicitors that he was being dismissed.

A spokesperson for Holmes tells The Times: “Coldplay know they are in trouble with their defence. Accusing Dave Holmes of non-existent ethical lapses and other made-up misconduct will not deflect from the real issue at hand – Coldplay had a contract with Dave, they are refusing to honour it and they need to pay Dave what they owe him.”

 


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Lawsuit by former Coldplay manager seeks £10m+

Former Coldplay manager Dave Holmes is seeking more than £10 million (€11.7m) in allegedly unpaid commission in his lawsuit against the band, according to a new report.

It was reported last month that the four members of the group – Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion – are being sued by Holmes in the UK High Court for breach of contract.

Representatives for Holmes say the band are “refusing to honour [his] management contract and pay him what he is owed” – a claim that is “vigorously disputed” by Coldplay.

Holmes had worked with the British group since before their 2000 debut album Parachutes, but the parties quietly went their separate ways last year, with the quartet continuing to be managed by the team of Phil Harvey, Mandi Frost and Arlene Moon.

The Daily Mail reports that Holmes and the band began working together on two-album cycles from 2014, with his most recent deal, covering 2019’s Everyday Life and 2021’s Music of the Spheres, their eighth and ninth LPs, respectively. The lawsuit claims that Coldplay later extended the deal to the end of 2025, covering a future 10th and 11th album.

Holmes claims that, following discussions with the band, he had started planning for the albums, as well as preparations for 2024/25 tours.

However, it is alleged that, shortly afterwards, Coldplay claimed the contract had not yet been agreed to and that his previous agreement had ended.

“Dave Holmes successfully managed Coldplay for more than 22 years, steering them to be one of the most successful bands in music history”

According to the lawsuit, the band were paid a £35m advance for their 10th LP and £30m for their 11th and 12th albums.

Holmes, who received a 10% commission on the net profits of the group’s records, tours and related activities for the past four LPs, says he was then informed by the band’s solicitor that they wanted to change his role to ‘head of touring’ and limit his commission to just concerts.

He alleges he was given two drafts of the new contract in August 2022, only for the band to later withdraw the offer and inform him through their solicitors that he was being dismissed.

Holmes alleges that the group are refusing to pay him for his contributions to the future album and tour preparations, and is demanding they pay the commissions as outlined in the contract. He is also calling on them to cover the “loss and damage equal to the profits”, plus everything he is entitled to from prior deals.

“Dave Holmes successfully managed Coldplay for more than 22 years, steering them to be one of the most successful bands in music history,” says Holmes’ lawyer Phil Sherrell. “Now, as the legal case shows, Coldplay is refusing to honour Dave’s management contract and pay him what he is owed.”

A spokesperson for Coldplay says that Holmes’ management contract expired at the end of 2022, “at which point they decided not to start a new one”. “The matter is now in the hands of Coldplay’s lawyers and the claims are being vigorously disputed,” adds the statement.

Coldplay, who have sold over 100 million albums worldwide, recently confirmed their Music of the Spheres World Tour will extend to 2024.

 


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Coldplay sued by former manager Dave Holmes

The four members of Coldplay are being sued by their former manager Dave Holmes over a contractual dispute, according to court documents filed in the UK.

Holmes had worked with the British group since before their 2000 debut album Parachutes, but the parties quietly went their separate ways last year, with the quartet continuing to be managed by the team of Phil Harvey, Mandi Frost and Arlene Moon.

A band representative declined to report further to Variety, which first reported the story, but a source tells the publication that the lawsuit refers to a contractual issue.  The legal documents have not yet been made public.

Coldplay, who have sold over 100 million albums worldwide, recently confirmed their Music of the Spheres World Tour will extend to a third summer, with more than 7.5m tickets already sold. The dates for 2024 include the band’s first ever shows in Greece, Romania and Finland, as well as their first show in Rome since 2003 and first visit to Budapest since 2008.

“We started to plan this tour when we were on the last tour, in 2017”

The trek, which began in Costa Rica in March 2022, was a new entry at No.6 in Billboard‘s updated list of the all-time top 10 highest-grossing concert tours, having garnered $561.2m at last count. It has already comfortably outsold Coldplay’s previous A Head Full of Dreams tour of 2016/17, which was attended by 5.38m people.

“We started to plan this tour when we were on the last tour, in 2017,” Holmes said last year as part of IQ‘s Music of the Spheres tour report. “It seemed crazy at the time, but we were holding venues for 2022 and 2023, as some stadiums actually need to be booked that far in advance.”

Meanwhile, it was confirmed yesterday (16 August) that UK-based agent Josh Javor, who spent 18 years at X-ray Touring, working closely with the late co-founder Steve Strange on acts including Coldplay, is joining WME as partner and co-head of the London music department.

 


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