Their Ex-Manager Sued, and Coldplay Sued Back

Dave Holmes wants commission, the band alleges bungled tour spending
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2023 1:48 PM CDT
Coldplay, Ex-Manager Each Claim the Other Owes Millions
Chris Martin of Coldplay performs at the Rose Bowl, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, in Pasadena, Calif.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Coldplay's former manager of 17 years has sued the band seeking millions. The band sued right back, and it wants millions, too. The BBC reports on the claims filed in London's High Court: Dave Holmes is arguing that he's due his commission for two of the band's not-yet-released albums. In his August claim, he alleged the band received an advance of nearly $43 million for their 10th album and tens of millions more for their 11th album; though his contract wasn't renewed last year, Holmes claims he was heavily involved in Nos. 10 and 11, from handling recording sessions to coordinating with the producer. He says his commission ranged from 8% to 13% on the last two albums Coldplay released; as such, he believes $12 million should be owed to him.

In their counter-claim filed Friday, Coldplay allege Holmes bungled things financially when it came to the band's current 165-stop Music of The Spheres tour. Their filing alleges he failed to "adequately to supervise and control the tour budget" or exercise "reasonable care and skill in the performance of his obligations." They claim a $9.7 million video screen that was ordered ended up being so big they couldn't bring it with them and could only use it at 10 of their performances. Sixteen custom stage pylons that cost $11 million also ended up being unusable, they say.

They also claim Holmes got hefty loans—$20 million in 2015 and $10 million in 2018, per NME—from the concert producer Live Nation that they believe were used to "fund a property development venture in or around Vancouver," debt that they claim could have given Live Nation the upper hand when Holmes negotiated the terms of the Music of The Spheres tour in 2021. The Independent reports Coldplay also claims Holmes did not open the shared Dropbox that held the artwork for the tour "at any time between August 2020 and February 2022." The band is seeking $17 million. Whether the parties will settle or the case ends up in court has yet to be seen. (More Coldplay stories.)

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