Saturday 3 December 2016

The great U2 clawback

Iconic €20m stages up for auction as tour finally ends

Grainne Cunningham

Published 02/08/2011 | 05:00

THE Claw, the iconic centrepiece from U2's 360° tour, is up for sale to the highest bidder after the band's record-breaking tour ended in Canada at the weekend.

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The massive stage structure was tested at more than 110 concerts in 78 cities in 30 countries, including two at Croke Park in Dublin.

It will be re-engineered to become a multi-use entertainment venue and is being sold by the Vancouver-based construction and real estate firm Panther Management for a fee of up to €20m.

Three 'Claws' were constructed, based on designs Bono had a hand in.

Throughout the tour -- which began in Barcelona in June 2009 -- one of the structures was in use while another was being constructed at the next venue, and a third being taken down at the previous venue.

The three structures, which cover 29,000 square feet each on their four legs, were put up for sale immediately after the final show in Canada on Saturday night.

The stages cost up to €20m each to built, but the purchase price has not been made public.

U2's tour director Craig Evans has said an entertainment venue could be constructed in one month using the Claw structure, while it would take up to two years to build normally.

The claws were designed to support up to 185 tonnes of equipment as well as to sustain high winds.

During the concerts, they featured a cylindrical video screen which was able to open up to 14,000 square feet. Each claw can accommodate up to 2,800 people under cover.

Panther Management is marketing the structures for use as an entertainment venue, a multi-floored exhibition hall or a theme park.

Last night, a spokesman for Harry Crosbie said that the entertainment mogul had "no plans" to purchase one of the claws as a draw for U2 fans and other tourists at his Point Village.

Meanwhile, the band of four have headed off for some rest on the south of France and elsewhere and there is little hope of U2 fans hearing any fresh material this year.

A spokesperson for the band last night said it would not be possible for an album to be recorded and the subsequent marketing, printing and other technicalities to be completed by the end of 2011.

The last album from U2 -- 'No Line On The Horizon' -- was released in 2009, five years after the previous work, 2004's 'How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb'.

The band have brought out 13 albums since their debut 'Boy' in 1980, usually taking between three and four years between each release.

They had planned to bring out another album by the end of this year, but touring and other commitments have pushed that back.

The 360° tour is understood to have brought in in excess of €500m in revenues. The massive scale of the events made it the highest grossing tour of all time, beating a previous record held by the Rolling Stones, which saw the British band bring in €393m.

Irish Independent

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