Saturday 24 February 2018

Sold-out gigs mean some U2 fans still have not found what they are looking for


U2's six homecoming gigs in Ireland sold out in about half an hour.

Tickets for the two shows in Belfast and four in Dublin appeared on reselling websites shortly afterwards with the biggest mark up hitting more than £2,500 (3,408 euro) for a pair of seats directly in front of the stage.

U2 management said the concerts sold out as fast as the sales could be processed.

"All those who queued overnight or by opening time succeeded in buying tickets," a spokeswoman said.

Despite doubts over the suitability of venues in Ireland for their Innocence + Experience shows, U2 only last week revealed plans to bring the tour home.

It had been thought the stage set up was to large for any Irish indoor venue.

The band will play Belfast's SSE Arena on Wednesday and Thursday November 18 and 19 before four nights at Dublin's 3Arena on Monday and Tuesday November 23 and 24 before breaking for a few days to return to the stage on the Friday and Saturday night, November 27 and 28.

Tickets went on sale at 9am at the concert venues and online.

They were limited to two per person with the promoters insisting it was to make sure as many fans as possible got tickets.

Priced from £30 to £165 for Belfast and from 30 euro (£21) to 185 euro (£134) in Dublin, before added charges, hundreds of tickets began appearing online within hours at multiples of the face value.

"In addition to the fan-club and online sales, the band wanted fans in Dublin and Belfast to have the extra option to buy at the venue. It has worked really well today. When the fans are happy, we're happy." said Arthur Fogel, U2 tour promoter with Live Nation.

Some two million euro from the Irish concerts will go to Music Generation, a national music education programme which provides quality subsidised music tuition to 26,000 children and young people.

These November shows will be the first time the band will perform songs from their recent album Songs Of Innocence to a home crowd.

The album released last year charts the group's earliest experiences growing up in Dublin influenced by 70s rock, punk and early 80s electronica.

The band has just kicked off the European leg of its world tour and will be playing a string of dates at The O2 in London and dates in Glasgow before playing Paris in November.

Mr Fogel acknowledged that despite the concerts being a paperless ticketed event, some people still opt to use them to make money.

"As is clear by selling via the paperless ticket system and keeping the purchase to two tickets, we have worked hard to limit re-sales and to get tickets into the hands of fans at face value. However despite our best efforts, there are those few who choose to resell their tickets, we see this for practically every show or event," he said.

More than 300 tickets were available on one website with prices starting at £135 (183 euro) for Belfast to 420 euro (£309) for a pair of tickets for a Dublin show.

Press Association

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