The U2 360° Tour is a worldwide concert tour by the Irish rock band U2. Launched in support of the group's 2009 album No Line on the Horizon, the tour will visit stadiums from 2009 through 2010, whereas the previous two tours, the Elevation Tour and the Vertigo Tour, were primarily played in indoor arenas. The U2 360° Tour is named after the 360-degree staging and audience configuration it uses for shows,which U2 claims is "the first time a band has toured in stadiums with such a unique and original structure." In an era of declining CD sales, the tour is expected to be a major source of income for the band.
the tour features a 360-degree configuration, with the stage being placed closer to the center of the stadium's field than usual.] The stage has no defined front or back and is surrounded on all sides by the audience. The stage design also includes a cylindrical video screen and will increase the venues' capacities by about 15–20%. Only tiered football stadiums can be used with this scheme; flat fields and baseball stadiums are not possible venues. Willie Williams, who has worked on every U2 tour since 1982, is again a designer for this tour;Mark Fisher serves as the architect.
Williams had been toying with ideas for 360-degree stadium staging for U2 for a number of years,and presented sketches of a four-legged design to the group near the end of their Vertigo Tour in 2006.The inspiration for the "spaceship-on-four-legs" design, nicknamed "the Claw", came from the landmark Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport. The steel structure will be 164 feet tall – doubling the size of the stadium set for The Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang Tour, the previous highest – and will require 120 trucks to transport. Each leg of the structure will contain its own sound system. U2 will purchase carbon offsets to take into consideration the environmental impact of the massive production. As with many large-scale tours of its era, the U2 360° Tour will have both the workforce and the revenues associated with a medium-sized company.
As the tour was announced, U2 guitarist The Edge said of the show's design: "It's hard to come up with something that's fundamentally different, but we have, I think, on this tour. Where we're taking our production will never have been seen before by anybody, and that's an amazing thing to be able to say. For a band like U2 that really thrive on breaking new ground, it's a real thrill." Lead singer Bono said the design was intended to overcome the staid traditional appearance of outdoor concerts where the stage was dominated by speaker stacks on either side: "We have some magic, and we've got some beautiful objects we're going to take around the world, and we're inside that object." He also said that the group's goal was for the show to not be too choreographed. Williams said the goal is to establish a physical proximity: "The band is just sitting in the palm of the audience's hand."