Auckland, New Zealand (November 6th 2019) – After paying homage to Bono’s one-time personal assistant Greg Carroll at his funeral site on the famous “one tree hill” yesterday, U2 is set to kick off the 2019 Joshua Tree tour at Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland this Friday. The opening date is sold out, but amid rumors of low interest, there are still tickets available for the second show in Auckland on Saturday night. The Joshua tree 2019 tour marks the first time U2 has toured Australia or New Zealand since the record-breaking 360 tour. While the addition of Asian dates is expected to allow the Joshua Tree 30th anniversary tour to surpass the total attendance at the original 1987 concert, the 2019 dates have been plagued by problems from the beginning. As of today, tickets had not sold out for all but one of the Australian shows, and ticket availability for some of the dates remains extensive. In addition, U2 has been making news down under for the wrong reasons, with reports in New Zealand newspapers complaining that foreign fans are “line hacking” in attempts to get closer to the stage and control access to the stadium. A group of 30 foreign-based U2 fans is running an unofficial ticket queuing system, serving in four hour shifts at the front of the line until the stadium opens. One local fan is reported in New Zealand online Journal Stuff as saying “The big issue is that their way benefits them [international fans], it doesn’t benefit the Kiwi fans who have waited nine years for two shows to be in our country.” International fans are defending the unofficial ticketing system as a way of eliminating the need to spend days camping out in front of a stadium in order to get a rail position.
After Mount Smart, the tour moves on to Australia, before heading to Singapore, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and India, with the latter two dates being first-ever appearances for U2 in their respective countries. The shows in India and the Philippines have come under scrutiny for price points that locals likely won’t be able to afford. Tickets are still available for shows in India, Philippines, Seoul and Singapore, but both dates in Tokyo are completely sold out.
U2 will once again be joined by Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds.