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U2 eye up Belfast for world tour Irish venue

Band still haven't found what they're looking for in Republic

By Catherine Wylie

A venue in Northern Ireland could come to the rescue of U2's world tour as the band struggle to find anywhere to play in the Republic.

The rock superstars said they are doing everything they can to take their world tour to Ireland -with The Edge saying not playing to a home crowd would be a "huge disappointment" to the band.

The Innocence + Experience tour requires a particular type of venue due to its unique set - but there is nowhere in the south of Ireland to accommodate it.

But The Edge said that a venue in Northern Ireland may come to the rescue.

"This show is designed for a type of venue and unfortunately there isn't one, certainly in the south, I think there might be one in the Belfast area so we're looking at that as well.

"But you can't invent a venue. It's either there or it isn't. So we're doing a lot of head scratching right now to see if we can figure out something," he said.

Pressed on whether U2 may be coming to Belfast, The Edge said: "I wouldn't rule it out."

There has been much speculation about U2 adding dates in Ireland to the tour, and The Edge said: "We are certainly working very hard on it and we can't announce anything right now but it would be a huge disappointment to us if we weren't able to play in Ireland and so every effort is going in to make that possible."

The most likely venue in Belfast that could accommodate U2 is the arena in the Titanic Quarter, which has just reopened as the SSE Arena after a £3m revamp. Northern Ireland's biggest indoor arena now boasts a capacity of around 10,000 and is due to host three sold-out shows by One Direction next month.

U2 has just kicked off the European leg of their world tour and will be playing a string of concerts at The O2 in London and Glasgow, before finishing up in Paris in November.

Speaking about their Irish fans, The Edge said: "It's a home crowd and they know us better than anyone else. They know all the references better than anyone else.

"I would say it's the most appreciative and in some ways also the toughest crowd, because they know what to expect.

"They've got high expectations."

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