U2 add Dublin and Belfast dates to Innocence + Experience Tour

Hometown gigs were in doubt due to difficulties adapting the tour stage to Irish venues

U2 have confirmed that their current ‘Innocence + Experience’ tour will indeed include Irish dates, with four hometown Dublin shows announced this week, in addition to two in Belfast.

The four Dublin shows will take place at the 14,500 capacity 3Arena, and are set to be the closing dates of the world tour. They will take place on November 23, 24, 27 and 28 while the Belfast shows will happen on November 18 and 19, at the SSE Arena.

The Irish dates had been in doubt due to difficulties in adapting the Innocence + Experience stage to Irish venues, to which it is badly suited.

Bono spoke about the redesign required after the band’s recent show in Turin.

“It got to the stage where we just had to tell our people you have to make this happen, you have to make this work, this is where we are from and we have to bring the tour home,” the frontman said.

He added: “We found a way to reformat the show, to literally rebuild it for the Irish shows.”

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The Innocence + Experience Tour got under way in May this year in Vancouver and has stayed within North America and Europe. It included an eight-date run at Madison Square Garden in New York, and will also feature six nights at the O2 Arena in late October and early November. Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen have appeared alongside the band during the tour.

The four Dublin shows will be the first hometown performances for Bono and co. since they headlined three consecutive nights at the 82,000 capacity hurling and Gaelic football stadium Croke Park, back in 2009. The band were rumoured to be looking at a return to the venue, which has a single-night capacity close to the cumulative capacity of the four 3Arena shows.

Croke Park concerts have been a hot topic in Irish music circles over the past year or two, after Garth Brooks booked and then cancelled five nights in summer 2014, after local authorities were only prepared to grant licenses for three. 400,000 tickets for the five concerts had sold out in advance of the cancellation.

Meanwhile, Bono has been speaking about the refugee crisis. Recently, he told Italian newspaper La Stampa: “This week, something incredible happened. We might truly be at a turning point for what Europe wants to be in the 21st century… This week, something incredible happened, and Europe isn’t the same as it was seven days ago.”

Due to demand, tickets for the Irish shows will be limited to two per person, and go on sale at 9am on Monday, September 14.