Thursday 15 November 2018

See U2 at Croker... for €25

World tour tipped to include thousands of cheap tickets

Bono and U2 are embarking on a two-year world tour, details of which are expected today
Bono and U2 are embarking on a two-year world tour, details of which are expected today
U2 perform at Forham University in New York during a broadcast of ABC's 'Good Morning America' on Friday
Bono and the boys played to a sold-out Croke Park in 2005

Alistair Grant

U2 will be offering tickets to its Croke Park concerts starting from a recession-busting €25.

And the band will be performing on a special spaceship-style set in the centre of the pitch, doing away with the traditional vast stage which can often block views.

The special set means U2 will smash previous attendance records at Croke Park with 95,000 people filing the stadium on July 24, 25 and 27 as part of their 'Kiss the Future' world tour which will last two years.

Speculation is mounting that about 10,000 of these tickets will be priced at €25.

Drummer Larry Mullen revealed yesterday that U2's stadium tour will feature the spaceship-style set.

"From what I've seen it's like a spaceship and I know we've done spaceships before and walked out of citrus fruits," he said in an interview with 2fm's Larry Gogan.

"This is four legs and this allows us to be placed close to the centre of the stadium. It hasn't been done before. It's a very unusual production. Essentially it's trying to bring the band closer to the audience and that's the challenge."

He added: "We plan to tour this summer. We start off in Europe for two months and then we go to America for two months and we come back in 2010 and start in America and finish off in Europe. We are going to do it over two years and we're hoping to work on some more music in between."

The band's tour dates are set to be unveiled today, with tickets on sale on Saturday, March 14, starting from just €25 and rising to €120. U2 will also confirm gigs at Wembley, London, on August 14 and 15, again with record 100,000-plus crowds, sources confirmed.

They are also expected to announce concerts to play in front of 65,000 at Glasgow's Hampden Park on August 18 and 85,000 at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on August 22.

U2's Croke Park gigs are expected to create an Irish record concert income of about €7.5m.

Bono and the boys are set to post record incomes thanks to placing the stage in the centre of the pitch and packing the field with 10,000-plus standing fans, adding to the stadium's 82,300 seated capacity. About 95,000 fans are expected, beating the 90,556 record crowd at the old Croke Park, set at the 1961 Offaly v Down All-Ireland football final.

Attendances

The band's Wembley shows are also both expected to make more than the UK's current record-grossing concert -- Madonna's €8m Wembley show last September. U2's August 14 and 15 'Kiss the Future' attendances will be the largest ever concert crowd at the new or old Wembley. The crowds are also likely to top the 100,000 seen for Wembley football matches up to the 1970s.

That means U2 will be Wembley's biggest gate since the day the old stadium opened in 1923, when 200,000 flooded the ground for the 'White Horse' football FA Cup Final.

U2 manager Paul McGuinness said: "This is going to be a very big tour, the biggest shows we've ever done."

The 'Kiss the Future' tour starts at Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium on June 30 and will take in the Stade de France in Paris on July 10 and 11, along with Nice, Berlin and Amsterdam before arriving in Ireland and the UK.

The band then heads to North America, starting a two-month run with a concert in Chicago on September 12.

And the great news for U2 fans is that the group will tour again next year, promoting their album 'Songs of Ascent', scheduled for release in 2010.

They will hit the US and Canada in June and arrive in Europe for a two-month stint in August 2010, before heading for South America.

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