U2 O2 08

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Evening Herald,

U2 bosses are engaged in top-level negotiations about the Irish rockers playing the inaugural concert at the new O2 arena in the Point Village.

The Herald can reveal that plans are afoot to see the famous foursome performing at the new 13,000 seater arena as part of their world tour next year.

Given that businessman Harry Crosbie's ambitious €850m Point Village includes a proposal for a soaring U2 tower, alongside an exhibition chronicling their career highlights, the quayside venue seems a likely option for them.

Although it was recently claimed that the group had directly approached Croke Park chiefs to discuss playing a three-date monster concert there, music insiders dismissed the report as "pure speculation".

One source said: "No approaches have been made to discuss setting a possible date for concerts there. However, there have definitely been negotiations about them performing at the O2.

"Given the whole Crosbie connection and the fact that there's plans for the U2 tower, it makes sense for them to play one of their first concerts in the world tour in the O2 arena. Croke Park is a brilliant venue for concerts but they've been there, done that, and when it's finished, the new arena is really going to be state-of-the-art. Given that U2 stage such visually impressive concerts, it really will be the perfect place to cater for that," the source continued.

The band, who have sold more than 140m albums worldwide, recently pushed back the release for their first album in four years. Fans will now have to wait until 2009 to hear their latest material, which Bono has hailed as their best to date and they're now busy choosing from more than 50 new tracks.

"We've hit a rich songwriting vein," he said. "It gets a bit dark down here but it looks like we've found diamonds, not coal. I thought a while back we might have the album wrapped by now, but why come up above ground now if there's more priceless stuff to be found?"

Due for completion this December, the Point Village arena was propelled into the big time during the summer after its bosses signed a highly-lucrative deal with Live Nation. One of the biggest live promoters in the world, they already act as sole agents for such big names as Madonna and the Rolling Stones.

O2 bosses say they plan to stage up to 150 events there every year for an average of two million customers.

Catering for 9,300 people in seats or a total of 13,000, the arena will be an amphitheatre with a 55-metre stage.

Copyright © 2008 Evening Herald. All rights reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on September 19, 2008 5:48 PM.

The Edge: delaying release will take U2 album 'to next level' was the previous entry in this blog.

Bono and Tony Blair walking to a church in New York City (September 21, 2008) is the next entry in this blog.

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