U2’s claw-like stage for its current world tour has been something of a boon for the band, at least as far as opening up formerly obstructed seats. But for people living near the tour’s stops, the custom-built stage—and its attendant video equipment—have caused literal headaches, thanks to their taking a really long time to set up and take down. Residents near Croke Park in Dublin, where U2 just wrapped up a three-night residency, got so mad, they got to picketing. Which apparently is in the process of throwing off the band’s plans to head to Sweden for shows this weekend!
Dozens of trucks were blocked when they arrived in the early hours to a remove the sound system and 56 tonnes of video equipment for the group’s next two dates in Gothenburg, Sweden.
U2 bosses fear the specialist equipment for the 360 stage will not be set up in the city’s Ullevi Stadium in time for next two legs of the world tour on Friday and Saturday.
Disheartened tour director Craig Evans stood on the sidelines as he watched the vital audio and visual equipment – which should have already been shipped out – being packed into scores of HGVs after a deal was brokered to suspend the protest, allowing 54 trucks in.
“It will be tight,” he said.
Residents of the area would like Bono and Co. to know that they’re not mad at them, per se, but rather at local politicians, who bent over backward in order to please the rock titans.
Resident Barbara Ward said the protest by about 80 people was not about U2, but against council planners who permitted 44 hours of continuous works from midnight last night.
“The stage was to come down overnight and 94 trucks were to go in and out, one every three and a half minutes, right through narrow roads and both sides of the stadium,” said Mrs Ward, of Croke Park Area Residents’ Alliance.
“People would have been awake all night. We decided to stand up and protest and the drivers never tried to pass us.
“One driver said he knew what we have had to put up with during the last week. He sympathised with us.”
Couldn’t this all have been cleared up by giving away some free tickets?
[IOL via NME]
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