Fourteen state-of-the-art cameras, 150 tons of heavy metal digital cylinder screens and a mega-revved-up sound system – this is what’s in store for the almost 95 000 U2 fans who will be dancing under the special “The Claw” stage tomorrow evening.
And if you fancy being part of history, in what has been dubbed the biggest rock tour to hit South Africa, Computicket has announced that a fresh batch of tickets is on sale.
“We have gone overboard with the sound system. Nothing like this has ever been done before,” said production director Jake Berry during an interview with the Saturday Star at the FNB stadium yesterday.
He said up to five cranes were needed to create the stage’s flat surface which is 48m deep.
“The grass had to be ripped out in order to make way for the cranes. It will however be (restored) after the concert,” he said.
What many fans will be happy to know is that no power shortages or blackouts have been predicted on the day.
“Everything you see here is ours. No mention of cable theft or any event that has taken place during the last four days will affect the concert in anyway,” Berry said.
The U2 360º tour is a world-wide concert tour which was launched in support of the group’s 2009 album titled No Line on the Horizon.
The tour has been touted to visit various stadiums this year.
Berry, however, reflected on the weather, saying the only concern for them was lightning.
“It’s more about safety than anything else. If lightning was to occur then we would have to monitor the situation, which would even result in halting the performances if need arises,” Berry said.
It took U2’s 134-member crew and a South African production crew comprising 150 members to assemble the stage in just over eight days.
“We couldn’t have done this without local help,” Berry said.
The production crew also said the stage had been structured in a way that would make the stadium look bigger.
Why Soweto and why FNB?
Berry said the essence of hosting the tour at the former World Cup stadium meant that it would be a visually bigger concert.
“Apart from that we love performing at new buildings,” he added.
Manager Paul McGuiness said while Irish singer Bono and his band had not performed since Australia last December, it made logical sense to stop in South Africa and perform a couple of shows before jetting off to other destinations.
A Cape Town performance will follow at the Green Point stadium on February 18.
Meanwhile, fans have been advised to arrive three hours before the show kicks off.
Gates to the stadium will be opened at 4.30pm and the show is due to start at 8pm and end at 11.30pm.
Organisers also revealed that trains and park-and-rides were also available to ease traffic congestion.
Security will also be beefed up on the day as the South African police services and more than five security firms keep over-eager fans under control. - Saturday Star