Rumours: NZ, Australia, Asia U2 Tour in 2019

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2019-03-15)

Updated: March 15, 2019:

Please see below for full rumours about the impending U2 tour that have been shared with us.

The Sydney Morning Herald published a story today about Elton John’s upcoming visit to Australia, and suggested that the star is having trouble finding accommodations because “John’s stay will coincide with an extended visit by the Irish supergroup U2. The four band members and their respective families are set to stay in Sydney during their Australian tour. And that means a mansion each.” Thank you to Julie for pointing out the news to us, the full link is above if you want to read the original.

Elton John’s tour takes him to Australia starting on November 30, 2019, with a show in Perth. He plays a handful of dates before breaking for Christmas on December 5, 2019. Based on information previously shared with us, these dates would happen after U2 has finished their tour in Australia. So the overlap is likely in the weeks leading up to Elton John’s tour, or perhaps U2 plans on using Sydney as a base while touring Asia as well.

Updated: March 11, 2019:

For those who haven’t been paying attention, U2 are rumoured to be near to announcing a new tour, this time of Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and the tour will kick off in November 2019. We have previously shared rumours here and those are also included below as well as a look at the build up to these current rumours. There are some new rumours and further information that has been shared with us about this tour that we can now share with you:

  • All of this information is unofficial at this point, and has not been confirmed by U2. You should not book non-refundable travel or accommodation, as dates and cities have been known to change right up to the week before an announcement is made.
  • For those asking when this will be announced, it will be a few weeks yet before an official announcement will be made. Be patient, its coming.
  • The tour will not be “The Joshua Tree Tour 2019”, nor will it be a continuation of the “Experience and Innocence Tour” — we are told the tour will be branded with a unique name.
  • This tour will not be in support of a new album.
  • The tour will not include playing the entire Joshua Tree album as the 2017 tour did, but we are told that album will be a focus on the tour.
  • The tour will visit stadiums, and the tour should run for about five weeks in total.
  • Some elements from the 2017 tour stage are in storage in Australia, and are expected to be used in the staging for this new tour.
  • We are aware that the band said they would take a break in 2019, but these comments were made while the band was still rumoured to be planning a visit to Australia at the end of 2018.
  • Rehearsals for the tour will start in mid-October and initially will not be held at the same location that the tour will start.
  • The tour will start in November 2019, and will continue into the early part of December, at which time we are told the band will take a break to work on a new album before continuing touring at a yet undefined period in the future. At this point we know of no plans to continue into 2020, and have heard no rumours that this 2019 tour will be taken elsewhere.
  • The announcement and advertisement for the tour is apparently ready and in the final approval stages.
  • A decision on an opening act has not been made, but we are told that there likely will be one.
  • The band has not yet started rehearsal, and have not started developing a set list, other than making a decision to return to some of the material from The Joshua Tree. These discussions will happen when the band return to one location to rehearse and start building ideas for the tour.

As mentioned above, the U2 announcement should be a few weeks away still.

Some city specific information:

  • The tour will start in New Zealand, and will then continue to Australia and the on to Asia.
  • The tour will visit Auckland, New Zealand and this is likely to be the starting city of the tour. This will likely be the only stop in New Zealand.
  • Five cities are expected to be played in Australia in total, starting in Brisbane and visiting two other cities before Sydney, as well as one city after.
  • The five cities being played in Australia are Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney (and not in that order.)
  • Many of these cities in Australia and New Zealand (but not all) will be getting two dates.
  • Singapore is one of the cities in Asia that is being scheduled. U2 have not played Singapore in the past. Singapore is not the only city in Asia being planned.
  • We are aware that there are cities being planned which we do not yet have information on.

This will be the first time that U2 have returned to play Australia and New Zealand since the U2360° tour visited between November 25, 2010, and December 19, 2010 with stops in Auckland, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, and Perth. A total of ten shows were played during that tour, and the band did not play any shows in Asia. The band last played Asia in 2006 at the end of the Vertigo tour. The dates were originally planned for early in 2006, but were postponed to November and December. That tour included stops in Australia and New Zealand, as well as three shows in Tokyo, and a final stop in Honolulu to end the tour. 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the LoveTown tour, which was a tour organized for Australia, New Zealand and Asia, as the original Joshua Tree tour in 1987 did not make it to that part of the world. Although the LoveTown tour would also visit Europe, 70% of the tour appearances were in New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

The current tour rumours have been slowly leaking out over the last few months, but go back before that. Initial rumours during the eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour included rumours that the band would visit Australia and New Zealand, as well as other areas at the end of 2018. Those rumours came to an end in July 2018, as it was communicated the band was no longer looking at those options for 2018. But in November 2018, U2Start.Com reported that the crew had been asked to be available at the end of 2019 for some very special shows. We had also heard from previously reliable sources that the band was contemplating a 2019 tour at that time.

The rumour that the crew was on hold for a late 2019 was confirmed again for us before Christmas. At that time we were told that the band was planning a tour of stadiums, and possibly some arenas. And that they would be touring Australia, New Zealand and Asia. We were told that they were looking at new locations in Asia that the band had never played before, and we were told they were investigating countries like China, Hong Kong and Vietnam as possible locations. We were told that the band would not play all of these cities, but they were investigating some new options including those cities. At this point the tour was not finalized, nor had individual cities been booked. A stage was being designed, and both Perth and Sydney were mentioned as possible cities in Australia. Our report on these rumours from early December is available here.

On February 7 we were able to share some additional information include a possible first date for the tour. We were told that the first date the band would perform in Australia would be on or around November 13, and that this would not be a show in Sydney, and would not be the opening date for the tour, that the tour would open sooner than this. At the time we were also told that the tour would run into December. On February 9, we were able to confirm additional details thanks to reliable sources, including a date of November 8, 2019 would likely be happening in New Zealand, and at that time four cities in Australia were also being looked at, with a number of cities getting second shows. We also confirmed at that time that Singapore is was on the final list being worked on and was not expected to be the only Asian stop. At the time we were unaware if Asia was before or after Australia. We were also told at that time the tour would likely not continue beyond December 2019, and that it would be branded with its own name, and would not be the continuation of a previous tour. Follow the links above to see the initial reports on those days.

Finally, on March 1, 2019, we were able to update the rumours further based on additional information we had received from reliable sources. This included the following information:

  • We have been told again that this tour is not being branded as “The Joshua Tree Tour” and it will carry its own name. Nor will it be branded as a continuation of the Experience + Innocence tour, and it should carry its own unique name.
  • It appears there’s been some work on the dates and may have added a fifth city to the list for Australia. There five cities do not include New Zealand and there will be at least one show in one city in New Zealand as well. Not all of the cities will get a second show, but a number will.
  • Dates are still expected for Asia. See the previous rumours we shared earlier below.
  • We are told that the tour routing is finalized, and the tour is being prepped for announcement.
  • We are told that Sydney will not be the first city in Australia.
  • The tour announcement could happen soon, once final contracts are signed.

Also on March 1, a friend spoke with Paul McGuinness, and mentioned he was heading to Australia at the end of the year. Rather than deny the tour was happening, the response from Paul McGuinness was “Oh, have they announced it yet?” (Thanks Brat!) The same week, Adam posted a random selfie to U2’s social media channels wearing a coat that appeared to have a design on the lower front that suggested the outline of several parts of Oceania including Australia. Another hint? Or just a random design?

That leads us up to today and the rumours we’ve added at the start of this article. For those who have asked why we sometimes go for weeks with little update on the rumours, we do not approach our sources for regular updates, preferring to let them share with us when they are ready. We do pass information along as we are getting it, and welcome you to check in for updates regularly, as at this point we expect the announcement to be a little ways off yet. The rumours above do not come from one single source. Here at U2Songs we do prefer multiple sources before publishing information, and the rumours we’ve shared above come from a combination of sources, many of whom have been able to share reliable information with our site in the past. We prefer to be correct than to be the first to report on things. But as reliable as we believe these sources to be, the tour has yet to be officially announced, and we’d like to remind you one additional time, that this information, including dates and cities, is still subject to change, and the band has made changes right up until the week before an announcement in the past. You should not use this information to book travel or accommodations.

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