U2 360° Tour Facts

Some friends (and one frind) and I got tickets to U2’s upcoming Winnipeg concert on May 29th. Just for something to do, I headed on over to Wikipedia to look up a bit about the 360° Tour and found some crazy trivia about it. Here’s a few tidbits:

  • The tour runs for over two years, from June 2009 to July 2011, and is comprised of 6 legs on 4 continents (oddly, though, no shows are currently scheduled for South America).
  • It’s most famous for “The Claw,” a four-legged, 360°, fully integrated video screen and stage structure that “dwarfs stadiums.” The New York Times described it as “part insect, part spacecraft, part cathedral.” Due to its round design, it can increase some stadium capacities by 15-20%.
  • The Claw is so tall that the band paid $2 million to raise the jumbo video screen at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Texas. The band will also be paying $3 million to do a similar procedure in Montreal at the Hippodrome.
  • The Claw’s LED screen can open up and spread vertically during the show. It has over 1 million pieces and is weather resistant.
  • The crew consists of 137 permanent roadies, plus 120 people hired locally for each concert. They need four cranes to disassemble The Claw.
  • Because load-out takes 3 and a half days (oh, and 120 semi trailers), three Claws were built so that the crew could begin constructing the stages at the next two locations while the first stage was being disassembled. Assembling and disassembling the stage interfered with the 2010 Major League Baseball season schedule.
  • Truck rental, transportation, and crew wages amount to $750,000 per day. The tour didn’t break even until its second leg was finished.
  • 30,000 cables are needed for each concert.
  • By the time the tour concludes, it will have generated 650,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. That’s the equivalent of fueling a passenger plane to Mars.
  • At the start of this tour in 2009, U2 signed a 12-year contract with Live Nation (a concert promotions company). I guess the band is planning on being around for awhile. Yikes.
  • Two of the tour’s concerts made the list of the top 5 highest attended single concerts in U.S. history. Just over 97,000 people attended a show in Pasadena, California.
  • The band has been showcasing several unreleased (and in some cases, unrecorded) songs recently. Also of note: a medley of “One” and “Where the Streets Have No Name” is bridged with “Amazing Grace.

So, is U2’s 360° Tour wretchedly excessive? Yes. Will it be a good show? Most definitely.

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