Is there going to be a Second Dublin Show?
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-01-26)
One of the questions we’ve been getting through social media and emails is “Why is there no second Dublin date?” We can’t answer for sure. But we did want to look through the rumours and suggestions and perhaps answer a few questions that we can tackle.
Why can’t U2 play unlimited shows at Croke Park?
Croke Park is in a residential area of the city and has strict planning permissions in place that have to be followed before booking the venue for a concert. The venue can only hold three outdoor concerts in a single year. To host more shows than this, planning permission must be granted by City Council and in recent years it has not.
In 2014 in a highly publicized case of these limits, Garth Brooks planned five shows for Croke at the end of July. Not only planned, but put these concerts on sale. It was only after the tickets had sold out that it was revealed that Croke Park had not yet asked authorities for permission to host the concerts, and residents of the area revealed they were not consulted by organizers. The residents would quickly suggest taking legal action against the organizers.
Dublin City Council in that case issued permission for three shows, saying that five concerts would cause “an unacceptable level of disruption.” (Belfast Telegraph) Brooks would end up canceling all five shows, rejecting alternate concert schemes proposed by Council such as three night-time and two matinees, or three summer concerts and two fall concerts.
So why can’t U2 play three shows at Croke Park?
Well they could in most years, but if the site is limited to three summer concerts, then Coldplay already has one of those nights booked. Coldplay will be playing the venue on July 8, 2017, taking their “A Head Full of Dreams Tour” through Europe. The concerts were announced and went on sale back in October 2016.
We’ve seen several stories about Coldplay being denied a second night in Croke Park, but we have found little to back this up. The promoter for the tour announced last fall “There won’t be a second Coldplay gig in Dublin. They don’t have the time. The band is playing only 15 gigs in Europe next Summer and only two in the UK.”
So I’ve heard Ed Sheeran is the problem?
No, actually he isn’t. Ed Sheeran doesn’t have a booking for Croke Park and probably never did.
Sheeran played Croke in 2015 selling out two shows at the venue. And yes, rumours were that Sheeran might be back to play the venue again this year. But on January 17, 2017, Sheeran in an interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 confirmed his plans for 2017 would not include stadiums, and that he was preferring to play arenas this year, and he would move to stadiums next year.
This morning Sheeran has announced that he will play two concerts in Dublin in April of 2017, but that both would be inside at the 3 Arena. It is unlikely he ever had a confirmed booking at Croke Park if plans were underway to play smaller venues all along.
So there’s two Croke Park slots left for U2?
Yes, organizers at Croke Park have announced that only two concerts have been finalized for this year. Coldplay and one U2 show. A recent article in Dublin Live included a note that Paraic Duffy had appeared in front of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport and had said that the GAA were “Still hoping” to book a third concert this year. When asked if that would be U2 he replied “I’d love to be able to say so, but unfortunately no.” He also joked that the third slot, if filled, would not be given to Garth Brooks. Duffy confirmed that there would only be three concerts in 2017 and no plans for more.
So will there be a Second Dublin Show?
Right now it appears there will not be. In a statement to Hot Press the band issued a statement saying “No” through their Irish PR company. (Hot Press)
Is it because of Sales? Logistics?
It does not appear to be, as tickets for the first Croke Park show were listed as sold out by Ticketmaster.ie six minutes after going on sale. Although a large number of those showed up on secondary ticketing sites almost immediately, this was also the case in other cities where a second show was added such as London.
Logistics may be an issue as Ireland is an island and there would be additional transportation time needed to transfer stages and equipment around. Between London and Berlin, Berlin and Rome, and Paris and Amsterdam the band has two days. Between Rome and Barcelona and Amsterdam and Brussels only one day has been left. There are three days open before the Dublin concert to take the stage from Barcelona to Dublin, and two days open after the Dublin concert to take the stage from Dublin to France.
When will we know for sure if there will be another show?
Hot Press has told us there is no second show. U2.com sent out an email that announced the second shows in Europe that said that finalized that leg of the tour. So it’s not looking good at this point that anything else is coming. So maybe we already know for sure?
The reason so many are probably holding out hope is what happened in 2005. There were many rumours of U2 playing three shows at Croke that year. But in that case the venue was confirming a third date was being held for U2, but the promoters, MCD were denying that a third date would be held claiming they booked three nights as a preliminary measure as they weren’t sure what two dates would be played.
In that particular case the initial dates were announced in January 2005, and went on sale shortly after. It was three full months later that the third and final date at Croke Park was announced. McGuinness in a statement to u2.com suggested the problem was with the GAA who manage Croke Park, “We have resolved the issues with the GAA and are delighted to announce that U2 will play a third show at Croke Park on Monday 27th June,” said Paul McGuinness.