|Occupations||Concert promoter, theatrical producer, touring impresario|
Michael Cohl is a Canadian concert promoter, theatrical producer and touring impresario. He is the former Chairman of Live Nation, the largest live entertainment company in the world. Cohl now runs S2BN Entertainment, with offices in New York and Toronto. Having been named the Howard Hughes of rock ‘n’ roll by Fortune magazine, Cohl is most famous for having overseen the tours and related ancillary businesses for more than 150 artists, including Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and U2. He has also been credited with developing the concept of "package" touring. Eliminating the middleman, Cohl worked directly with the artist to strategize and route the tour, promote the dates, and assist in the development and exploitation of the lucrative aftermarket – books, films, DVDs, television specials, and merchandising. He is currently the lead producer of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the most expensive musical in Broadway history, with music by Bono and The Edge of U2.
In December 1995, The Toronto Star printed a 4,000 word article entitled "King Cohl of Rock'n'Roll and the Tax That Never Was." From conversations with a number of managers of touring bands, the reporter argued that Cohl's Concert Productions International misrepresented to touring artists that it was collecting a tax, while not remitting any such tax to any government body. Kevin Donovan later printed a full retracement of this story and his findings were found to be false & slander.
Cohl was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, when he received a Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award at the 2002 Juno Awards. Cohl is also a recipient of the 2004 Billboard Legend of Live award, an honour previously bestowed on such artists as Elton John and The Allman Brothers Band. When Spamalot won the 2005 Drama Desk and Tony Award for Best Musical, Cohl was among the producers who received the awards.
Cohl has produced numerous concert tours around the globe. A select number include:
- Michael Jackson's Victory Tour
- Michael Jackson's Bad World Tour
- The Rolling Stones' Steel Wheels Tour
- The Rolling Stones' Voodoo Lounge Tour
- The Rolling Stones' Bridges to Babylon Tour
- The Rolling Stones' No Security Tour
- The Rolling Stones' Licks Tour
- The Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang Tour
- U2's PopMart Tour
- Barbra Streisand's Streisand: The Tour
- The Who's World Tour
- Genesis' Turn It on Again: The Tour
- Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto (SARS benefit concert)
- Live 8 (Barrie, Ontario)
- Yo Gabba Gabba! Live: There's a Party in My City! Tour
- Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
- The Lord of the Rings"
- The Producers
- La Cage aux Folles
- Bombay Dreams
Satisfaction: The Life and Times of Michael Cohl
CBC Television released a 2006 documentary directed by acclaimed filmmaker Barry Avrich as part of the Life and Times series chronicling Cohl's rise to prominence in the entertainment industry. The film claims "When the Rolling Stones won’t make a move without talking to you first, your name must be Michael Cohl." Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Bono all make appearances.
- "Michael Cohl Transitions to Consultant Role With Live Nation". prnewswire.com (Press release). United Business Media. 20 June. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- "S2BN Entertainment". s2bnentertainment.com. S2BN Entertainment. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- "Satisfaction: The Life and Times of Michael Cohl". www.cbc.ca/lifeandtimes/. CBC Television. 24 July 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- "Live Nation Entertainment In (LYV:New York) > Michael Cohl: Executive Profile". Businessweek (New York: Bloomberg L.P.). People Tab. ISSN 0007-7135. OCLC 1537921. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- Green, Jesse (21 November 2010). "(Cover Story) A Web and a Prayer". New York (29 November 2010) (New York Media Holdings). nymag.com. ISSN 0028-7369. OCLC 1760010. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- Kevin Donovan, "King Cohl of Rock'n'Roll and the Tax That Never Was", The Toronto Star, December 16, 1995, Page A1.
- "Past Recipients/Inductees List by Year". carasonline.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. 13 April 2002. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- "Juno Awards Database". junoawards.ca/database/. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. 13 April 2002. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- "Allman Brothers Earn Billboard Legend Of Live Award". billboard.com. Billboard (magazine). 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2011. "Previous Legend Of Live award winners include Rolling Stones promoter Michael Cohl (2004)"
- "Michael Cohl > Male > Producer". ibdb.com. Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- Harris, Bill Toronto Sun (23 July 2006). "CBC doc profiles Michael Cohl Publicity-shy Michael Cohl grants us rare insight into his life and times with satisfying CBC documentary". jam.canoe.ca. Jam!. Retrieved 21 February 2011.