Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Is There Profit On the Horizon For U2 Tour?

Rock band U2 have still not broken even on their massive 360° Tour.
Despite being on the road since June and playing dozens of shows across Europe and the US, the Irish supergroup have yet to look a profit.
With overheads of a staggering £470,000 a day whether the pair play or not manager Paul McGuinness said U2 would not go into the black until the end of the North American leg of the tour next month.

"The engineering problems are enormous and costly. We had to
find a way for it to be aesthetic and figure out a way of doing video," McGuinness said.
"That cylindrical screen we have that didn't exist, we had to get somebody to invent that. We had to design this four legged thing (the claw) and build three of them."
And he was coy about how much the whole record breaking tour would gross when it finally grinds to a halt in 2010 or 2011.
"(It won't) exactly (be) gravy, because whether we're playing or not, the overhead is about $750,000 daily," he said.
Each stadium gig features a huge steel claw structure and cylindrical video screen, both designed to give fans an unimpeded view of the gig while increasing bums-on-seats by 20%.
That means the band have broken attendance records for stadiums along the tour.
Three gigantic claw structures, each costing between £15m and £20m, are rigged up ahead of the gigs.
Factor in the support facilities wanted for touring what is essentially a small town, the numbers behind transporting the set between countries and continents are staggering.
"There's about 200 trucks. Each stage is 37 trucks, so you're up to nearly 120 there," McGuinness said.
"And then the universal production is another 50-odd trucks, and there are merchandise trucks and catering trucks."
Ritch Ames, who writes Sky News Online's Rock Against the Recession column, said the tour, in support of the No Line On The Horizon album, should prove profitable despite the global recession.
"The band, conscious of the state of the economy, have a tiered ticket system with recession busting prices, and I'm sure the accountants have worked out that they will more than break even later in the tour, but this would surely depend on all the gigs selling out," he said.
The tour was launched at the Nou Camp in Barcelona on June 30 and travelled across Europe before heading to the US in September.
The band announced this week the tour would return to Europe next summer.

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