U2 New Zealand Show ?

Speculation is rife that U2 will bring their large, state-of-the-art concert here in November.

Fans are eagerly awaiting an announcement from the band, who are expected to confirm dates not long after they resume their world tour tomorrow.

International reports say U2 are finalising their plans to play in New Zealand in November - possibly at Mt Smart Stadium - and Australia straight after.

But sources say New Zealand concerts could be called off, depending on the condition of frontman Bono’s injured back.

The U2 360 Degrees tour has featured a 50m-tall, four-legged stage shipped around the world to concert venues.

The stage, nicknamed “The Claw”, lets audiences encircle the band and watch from all sides.

The tour has earned $400 million since it began in Europe just over a year ago, but it hit a snag in May when Bono suffered a slipped spinal disc.

The band pulled out of the Glastonbury festival in England and rescheduled their North American concerts to next year.

Bono had surgery on his back and has since been recovering.

Negotiations for a New Zealand tour have been going on since last year, and Wellington’s Westpac Stadium has been put forward as another possible venue.

The world tour has been organised by promoters Live Nation, who have just opened an office in Australia.

Live Nation’s Asia office, based in Hong Kong, said the new Australian office was involved in preparations for U2’s Oceania tour.

Australian promoters Michael Coppel Presents, which organised U2’s previous tours in the region, said it could not comment on a possible U2 tour.

Bridget de Launay, the company’s New Zealand representative, also would not comment.

Hardcore fans said they were holding off making any concrete plans, but many were confident an announcement was imminent.

“I’m quite used to the ‘frustration’ that happens every U2 tour of not knowing,” one fan said. “To be honest, I think that’s part of building the anticipation.”

All would be forgiven and forgotten as soon as the band announced the tour dates, she said.

“So we wait, patiently - sort of,” she said.

Another fan, Andrew Briscoe, said he was waiting to book flights and accommodation to travel to see multiple shows.

It would be a “frenzy” when an announcement was made, he said.

“Am I excited? Hell yeah. My wife, not so much - she loses me for the best part of three weeks.”


By Michael Dickison