Those bastards at Glastonbury!

The company behind the Glastonbury festival has declared a pre-tax profit of only £764,000 after costs and administrative expenses wiped out almost all of the £35m of sales recorded last year, when the sell-out event saw headline performances from Arctic Monkeys and the Rolling Stones.

Only £200 k tax on a £35 million turnover? No doubt Ritchie and Margaret, Lady Hodge, will be on the warpath against such outrageous tax dodging!

Hearings in Parliament is the least we need!

15 comments on “Those bastards at Glastonbury!

  1. I’d love to see a breakdown of their costs and expenses – presumably the numerous staff and acts get paid (all of whom then pay tax on the income unless they’re someone like U2 and have a *cough* “tax-efficient” arrangement), then there are extensive charity donations to Greenpeace and the like – I wonder if Eavis and his family keep the £764k as their management fee or if they’ve already taken one. Presumably the farm side of the business charges the festival side a fee for the use of the fields too

  2. reading the article – “Among the costs to the business, which is owned by Michael Eavis, on whose family farm in Somerset the event takes place, were a string of payments to companies linked to him and his relatives totalling just over £2.6m. These payments included compensation for loss of farming earnings, land rent, Pyramid stage hire, staff costs and management fees”.

    Gosh. £2.6m eh. That’s a lot of rent and management

  3. £2.6m would be a lot for just rent and management, you might want to look at the other words in the sentence like “staff costs” and “These payments included”.

  4. What’s the inference here? That Eavis running a high cost, low profit company (whether or not those costs come out as income to him elsewhere) is somehow equivalent to Google or Vodafones making backroom deals with HMRC or pretending their economic activity is in tax havens – millions of pounds of tax? His little farm and festival empire is the stuff that Parliamentary Committees investigate? You’re implying that because it’s Glastonbury, it gets different treatment?

    Or are you really just saying nothing at all?

  5. What difference does it make? It’ll all get taxed anyway. In fact given that ME is a person not a corporation, he’ll pay more tax on rent payable to him for use of the farm, than if the company paid no or little rent and paid corporation tax at 20% on the extra profits. ME’s marginal rate is probably 45%, so the Treasury is doing better than if the festival organising company paid 20% and retained its profits within itself.

    Its a nice little earner for ME and his family of course, but who cares? Only the jealous. ME had to put up with the early festival years of hippies and their atrocious music, anything he gets now he’s earned ten times over.

  6. At least the mud-spattered crowds may in future be spared the tuneless wailing and dirges of that Billy Bragg tw@t appearing at future events as he will be unable to play for ideological reasons, instead writing new tunes about the appalling rich in the state of the art studio at his Dorset mansion.

  7. @Robert Morgan

    When evil capitalists have high revenue and low/zero tax we get calls from Ritchie and Margret, Lady Hodge for investigations because they must be tax dodging. Even when its pointed out that their accounts are legitimate and compliant with the law it makes no difference.

    Here we have another example of high revenue very low tax, so sauce for goose etc.

    Personally I’m with Jim, good luck to ME although I’d rather he didn’t support the likes of Greenpeace, but that’s his prerogative with his money.

  8. @RM – no, all anyone’s saying is that for all the cuddly beard and shorts-ness of lovely, lovely Michael Eavis and his family, its a very large business run (it would seem from the use of a series of companies linked to his family) with at least a fraction of an eye on tax efficiency. As it’s by definition a single country operation, the criticisms around the use of international tax structures levelled at companies like Google don’t apply but it certainly doesn’t look like, as far as the family go, the income is being taken as personal income and instead it’s being rolled into companies, presumably to enable VAT claims and other tax efficient measures. A huge chunk of the money is paid out as staff costs which are taxable at regular rates or to charities (tax-exempt) or into artists’ management companies (again, tax efficient) over which Eavis has no control.

    In short, it’s a pretty large family business run like most pretty large family businesses.

  9. As I recall (I’ve been to the festival nine or ten times, I forget), the Eavis family isn’t 100% shareholder of the company. Maybe as low as 50% as the promoters from 2002 onwards took a significant stake (mean fiddler were brought in to ‘run’ the festival as the locals didn’t trust the family to run the required enhanced security and superfence from that point, after the license was objected to post 2000).

  10. Its arguably one of the better UK music festivals. I’ve heard moans every year about ticket prices, its good to see people can’t moan about massive profits too.

  11. Does HMRC check that all the claimed expenses are valid? If so, Mr Eavis and friends are paying all the tax that *they* owe. If not, then why not?
    For transparency reasons I have to admit that HMRC has not yet come round to check all my invoices (I have a large plastic box full of them in the garden shed), so failure to check is not necessarily due to bribery and corruption. The first year I had to submit a self-employed tax return I sent HMRC my full accounts data even down to individual stamps and they asked me just to send a summary in future; it might be that they think he is reasonably honest.

  12. Those evil, neo liberal, scum should not be making any profit; all the filthy lucre should have gone to Gaia and the Druid benevolent fund.

  13. The tickets sold out in 26 minutes this year. So I think it’s safe to assume if they wanted to make more money dodging tax is the last way they’d do it.

    Still I’m itching to see if anybody ends up accusing them of it. Like Tim I’m kinda doubtful they will.

  14. Glastonbury has always been a low profit enterprise. The original premise when Andrew Kerr was a co-director was that the organisers/owners would make no personal profit.

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