Wembley record 'broken by U2 gig'

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U2's first UK gig in their current tour is expected to have broken the attendance record for a Wembley Stadium concert, organisers have said.

About 88,000 people were expected at the Irish group's concert on Friday - 5,000 more than what is thought to have been the stadium's previous record.

U2's radical "claw" stage has enabled tour organisers Live Nation to increase the capacity for the sold-out show.

A similar-sized crowd is expected at a second concert later.

Wembley's previous biggest crowd is believed to have been the 83,000 who saw Rod Stewart perform there in 1995.

That figure was matched last summer by the Foo Fighters when the US band played at Wembley following its rebuilding.

Tickets are still available for U2's Saturday show, which will see them supported by Glasgow-based rockers Glasvegas.

Elbow, who won the Mercury Prize last year with their fourth studio album The Seldom Seen Kid, were supporting on Friday.

Michael Jackson holds the record for Wembley concerts, the late singer having notched up 15 appearances at the legendary venue.

The Rolling Stones come next with 12 concerts, followed by Madonna with nine.
However, U2 will exceed her tally when they play their 10th night at the stadium on Saturday.

The band's current 360 tour uses three different stage structures, each in the shape of a giant claw.

'Fewer shows'

The three steel structures cost between £15m and £20m each and offer a largely unobstructed view of the veteran rock quartet.

"Usually a show like this plays to two-thirds of the capacity of the stadium because you put the stage at the end and you don't sell any of the seats at the back and at the sides," tour architect Mark Fisher told the BBC.

"We sell all the way round, so we carry about 25% more stuff than a normal stadium rock show.

"We have a video screen round the back, lights that light the band when they go to the back and loud speakers both on the sides and behind, in addition to those that are on the front.

"We do fewer shows to perform to the same number of people."

© 2009 BBC

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on August 15, 2009 7:34 AM.

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