‘Pop’ goes U2 homecoming

The jewel in the U2 “Pop” tour crown, their Irish homecoming gig, has been canceled for “principally commercial reasons.”

Promoter Jim Aiken, who had skedded the Aug. 30 open-air event in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, said June 6 that “total costs meant the concert was no longer financially viable. It would have cost us $3.2 million, before paying the band,” he said, citing high organizing expenses. Even with ticket prices jacked up to $53, Aiken insisted that the event would have been doomed financially.

Aiken had been engaged in protracted negotiations with government and city officials to get permission from the zoning authority for the concert. A decision, due today, was hoped to greenlight the event, even with strong opposition from local residents to the anticipated noise and disturbance. The band played at this venue in 1983, with Simple Minds and the Eurythmics.

U2’s last Dublin concert was in 1992, during the Zoo TV tour. While some of their early Irish gigs have entered local lore, and anticipation has been growing for this year’s offering, there has not been the same level of interest in the U.S. this time around.

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