Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Anger as U2 plan to downgrade Croke screen for 360 degrees tour

U2 open their world tour in Barcelona
Bono of U2 performs onstage on the first night of their 360 tour held at Camp Nou on June 30, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.
The Nou Camp, in Barcelona, gets the U2 treatment in preparation for the launch of the band's 360 world tour

U2 fans have expressed fury after it emerged the three Croke Park concerts in Dublin for its 360 tour will not be fully "in the round" as concerts at other venues around the world will be.

The "claw" stage at the centrepiece of the show wowed fans in Barcelona at its launch last week and allowed the band to effectively play to all sides of the all-seated Nou Camp stadium.

The stage was situated at one end of the stadium in Barcelona, and will be in the same position at Croke Park, with Hill 16 as a backdrop.

However, no seats will be fitted on the Hill and no tickets have been sold for the famous terrace -- which means that the band will effectively be playing to 270 degrees of the Jones Road venue.

Fans took to internet message boards last night to complain. "Pretty annoyed to find out were only getting 270 of the stage," one poster on said.

"There is no reason why it can't be in the middle."

A seating chart for the concerts -- which take place on the 24th, 25th and 27th of this month -- shows that all stands at Croke Park will be filled, and there will be space for fans on the pitch.

However, there will be no standing space behind the stage, as it backs on to the Hill.

Extra tickets for the three Dublin dates -- which had been sold out -- go on sale 9am today.

The mammoth stage is 165ft tall, and takes up to four days to put together.

Croke Park officials deny that fans will be deprived of the full 360 experience and say that they will be able to see the stage from all angles, as the band originally intended.

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