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By Bob Allen, Billboard
U2's world tour commemorating the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree, the band's Billboard 200 No. 1 album released in March 1987, grossed $62 million from 10 shows during its first four weeks on the road. That multimillion-dollar sales total easily earns the Irish rockers the No. 1 slot on Billboard's weekly ranking of Hot Tours (see list below). With box office results reported by tour promoter Live Nation, the sold ticket count from the first eight stadiums on the schedule reached 519,648. All 10 performances during the opening stretch of The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 were sold out.
The tour kicked off in Vancouver on May 12 with a crowd of 45,436 at BC Place Stadium. Single performances followed at stadiums in Seattle, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas and Pittsburgh markets as well as two-night stints at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and Chicago's Soldier Field.
Opinion: Paul McGuinness's insight into bots, touting and band fan clubs was fascinating
by Jim Carroll, Irish Times
Sometimes the answers you're after come from the most unlikely sources. Former U2 manager Paul McGuinness spoke with former Dire Straits manager Ed Bicknell at the International Live Music Conference in London earlier this month. Here were two former high-profile managers chewing the fat over their years in the music business with choice anecdotes for everyone in the audience.
Both McGuinness and Bicknell are astute, experienced players who operated for many years at the very top of the business. They also know that their comments will be circulated beyond the attendance of live music agents and promoters.
Certainly, many ears would have pricked up when the conversation moved to the issue of ticket sales and touting, as McGuinness' former charges U2 have seen sizeable quantities of tickets for their upcoming Joshua Tree tour end up on sites used by touts.
by Winston Cook-Wilson, SPIN
In one of the more protracted, bizarre rock star lawsuits in recent memory, U2's Bono and Larry Mullen have been ordered to fork over $1.5 million to a Brazilian promoter they defamed in an interview sixteen years ago, as fan site @U2 reported last night.
In 1998, U2 toured Brazil for their state-of-the-art, morbidly expensive PopMart tour. They later publicly claimed that promoter Franco Bruni had not paid them for the gigs they did in the country. This was not true, and just a couple of days after the interview, U2's former managing director went on record as saying the lapsed payment was for copyright fees for live performance, not for the actual performing costs.
A FIRM owned by the members of U2 last year recorded profits of over €3.7m as it reaped the dividends of the band's blockbusting world tour and new music.
New accounts filed by U2 Ltd show that the firm recorded the profits after sustaining a loss of €1m in 2014 - a positive swing of €4.7m.
The buoyancy of the firm's business is underlined, with its cash pile more than doubling during the year - going from €2.86m to €6.89m.
Last year, U2 grossed $152.2m in box office receipts as more than 1.28 million fans across the globe paid to see the band perform. Box office receipts are split between artist, promoter and venue owner.
The average gross from each U2 gig was $6.92m - easily the most lucrative average gross out of any of the performers touring last year. The band played 76 dates in 22 cities.
Bono: I Will Follow
Irish rock icon Bono leads a widely acclaimed, data-driven, global organization that influences governments, rallies C-suites, and raises hundreds of millions of dollars for people living in poverty. What's his secret? An ability to convince others that they are the true leaders of change, not him. Here's what business can learn from a music legend.
Fender board director gets own signature
By MusicRadar/Total Guitar/Guitarist
NAMM 2016: In a move that's taken pretty much no-one by complete surprise, two years after The Edge joined the Fender board of directors the U2 guitarist finally has his widely-rumoured signature guitar, alongside a suitably desirable signature amp.
The Edge Strat will apparently replace the guitarists' usual collection of vintage instruments on tour, so it's safe to assume that the design was a genuinely considered, close collaboration between endorsee and luthier.
Features include two special Custom Shop Fat 50s single-coil pickups in the neck and middle position, cranking out versatile tone with enhanced bass response, a DiMarzio® FS-1™ pickup at the bridge and a quartersawn maple neck for an Edge-ish bright tone.
The Edge Deluxe amp, released alongside the Strat, is essentially an update of the '57 tweed Deluxe he currently uses - a 12-watt hand-wired amp configured for a tighter low end response.
The Fender Strat will retail for approx $1800/£1260, while the Deluxe will set you back $2399/£1740.
by Nita Lelyveld, LA Times
For years, U2 guitarist the Edge has sought to build five homes atop an undeveloped ridge in an unincorporated area of Malibu.
For nearly a decade, environmental groups and many residents have objected, saying to do so would needlessly despoil sensitive habitat and mar the visual landscape.
On Thursday, after numerous hearings of the California Coastal Commission, the Irish musician finally prevailed.
At a meeting in Monterey, the panel voted unanimously to approve David Evans' project -- although much has changed since the initial proposal in 2011.
Five houses will be built on the property in the Sweet Mesa area, each one more than 10,000 square feet and featuring its own swimming pool.
But where they once were to stand proudly spread out along the upper ridge line, the homes instead will be clustered closer together on a lower plateau.
By Kerry Flynn, International Business Times
The world is not wired -- at least, not yet. Governments and businesses must take more responsibility and better address Internet access in areas of poverty, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and U2 singer Bono urged Saturday as the businessman and the entertainer announced their "Connectivity Declaration."
The campaign, a part of Bono's antipoverty ONE Foundation, emphasizes that Internet access is necessary for alleviating poverty and spurring development worldwide. The mission, laid out in a New York Times editorial, urges governments to follow initiatives that prioritize energy investments and Internet access, as well as calls for the tech industry to do more to act on global issues like education, health care and the refugee crisis.
"Where governments lay the foundation, the private sector can build," Zuckerberg and Bono wrote in the editorial. "Silicon Valley should look beyond itself ... We challenge the tech industry to do far more for those most marginalized, those trapped in poverty and those beyond or on the edge of the network."
by Jon Swartz, USA TODAY
SAN FRANCISCO -- U2's tech-rich tour keeps getting richer and richer.
The legendary rock band, which christened its U.S. tour in San Jose, Calif., last month with a high-tech spectacle of immersive video and sound, has partnered with Meerkat to live stream in each show.
The streams are distributed on Twitter and Facebook, as well as displayed at the venue.
The arrangement started during shows in Phoenix and Los Angeles, and has continued.
The live-streaming experience, filmed by a fan onstage with the band, is projected on a gigantic oblong screen at the show and is available to anyone who uses the Meerkat app.