July 28, 2009 14:54

U2 gig in doubt due to residents' blockade

Croke Park residents are angry at the band's stage set up

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U2's next gig of their 360° world tour is in doubt today (July 28), after the band's custom-built stage was unable to leave Ireland's Croke Park due to road blockades staged by local residents.

Around 80 residents protested outside the venue, where last night (July 27) U2 finished a three-night homecoming residency, playing to 240,000 fans.

As a result of the protest, trucks sent to carry the equipment to Sweden for U2's gig at Gothenberg's Ullevi Stadium on July 31 were unable to make a connecting ferry in time.

Tour manager Jake Berry says that the equipment will now not make it to Sweden as scheduled.

"It affects it. We should all be not talking to you and be on a boat," Berry said, reports Ireland On-line.

"It affects the tour schedule, read it whatever way you want. When all this went down last night we were definitely not prepared because the last thing we want to do is put trucks on a street which has the potential of causing an accident. So we were stopped in mid-stream as this was totally unannounced and different to what we agreed."

Protesters were reportedly upset at the amount of construction work that had gone into staging U2's concerts, which saw two days and nights of constant road activity and almost 100 trucks passing through residential areas around the stadium.

"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 Barbara 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."

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