The Crystal Ball: Australia Rumours and Looking ahead at 2019

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2019-03-01)

Updated Information: March 19, 2019

We have updated our tour story and the latest information on the upcoming rumoured U2 tour of Asia, Australia and New Zealand can be found here.

Updated Information: March 1, 2019

A friend had an opportunity to speak with Paul McGuinness today. We’ve been told we are welcome to share it here. Part of his conversation was posted to Twitter:

Me: I’m thinking of heading to Australia end of the year. PmcG : oh have they announced it yet. . .

You can see the original post here via Brat. Yet another sign that something is being announced soon.

We’ve had a few questions why there hasn’t been more news of late. The answer? We try not to bug our sources and usually let them come to us with information. Sometimes that means we don’t get anything new for a bit. We do have a few pieces of information today though that we are able to share all from reliable sources of information in the past:

  • 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.

A number of eagle-eyed readers also pointed out that in a recent photo posted to social media channels, that Adam Clayton appeared to be wearing a coat with an Oceania detail on the lower part. That image can be seen here on Twitter. Is it a hint or just wishful thinking? Only time will tell.

We are sharing what we are able to share. We do not have a date that the announcement will be made, and as always, we would like to remind you that until a final announcement is made, changes do happen right up until the day before the announcement, so all the information presented here should be considered a rumour for the time being, and should not be used to book non-refundable travel. Previous information we’ve shared on this tour is listed below.

Updated information: February 9, 2019:

A few additional pieces of information have been sent our way, but these are for a tour that has not been officially announced, and appears to still be in the planning stages, and these items may change with the official announcement:

  • A rumoured show for New Zealand is being reported to us as happening on November 8, 2019. It is not known if this is the start of the tour or if there will be earlier dates before that. Until such time that these are officially announced, this should be considered a rumour only, and should not be used to book travel or accommodation.
  • At least four cities in Australia are on the currently being developed itinerary, we are told that there is room to add additional cities at the end of the current plans. It is not known if this may include an additional city in Australia or possibly stops in Asia.
  • Earlier rumours (see links below) suggested that U2 were looking at new countries as options for this tour. We are told that Singapore is on the final list that is being worked on. It is the first city outside of Australia and New Zealand that has been named to us, but it is not expected to be the only Asian stop. We do not know if this will be before New Zealand, or after Australia.
  • Most cities should receive two shows, but expect that when announced, only the first show will be sold, with the second being added after initial sales. (At least one city will receive only one show due to scheduling issues)
  • Some components of the stage / screen for The Joshua Tree 2017 are reportedly in the region in storage now, and may be used for this tour, but this tour will not be branded the same, and modifications to the stage are being designed.
  • There are no rumours that this tour will continue on beyond December 2019.
  • Other sources beyond our initial sources that we mentioned in yesterday’s article, have now also shared with us that this tour is being planned.

If the tour is announced, it will not be the first time that U2 has visited Australia a little later than the rest of the world. When the original Joshua Tree tour did not make it to Australia in 1987, the band finally visited in 1989 on the LoveTown tour. That tour would also take the band through Europe. In 2006, the band delayed a number of tour dates in Asia and Australia for personal reasons, and had an eight month break in the tour before finishing with shows in Australia and Asia, and a final show in Hawaii. Rumours that this 2019 tour would happen started last fall at the end of the Experience and Innocence tour, when tour crew told fans that they had been asked to keep their schedules open for possible further touring in the latter part of the year.

Original story: February 7, 2019:

Originally we were told that The Joshua Tree home video release would happen in late 2018 while work was being done on editing the film. That was pushed back to this year, and we were told to expect it in the first half of the year, with the release of Experience + Innocence on home video in the second half of 2019. There are some stories suggesting this will be released on March 9, 2019, the anniversary of the release of the release of The Joshua Tree. We have been told by reliable sources that it will not happen in March but it is still scheduled to follow later in the year. It won’t be long, but perhaps a little longer wait than some were expecting, and won’t be out in March. This is not a delay, our info always suggested that the release would not be this early.

Speaking of waiting, we’ve gotten a number of questions about when the rumoured tour may be announced, and if we have heard of any further information about the tour. We have heard some additional information just this week from a couple of reliable sources, and it appears that the tour is still being looked at for stadiums in Australia in late 2019. We are being told that the first show in Australia should be November 13 but this will not be the opening date of the tour, and until such time that this is officially announced, this should be considered a rumour. Travel or accommodation should not be booked until the tour is officially announced, as we have seen in the past that dates and even cities can change right up until the official announcement. This date is not expected to be the start of the tour, and other dates before that time are expected outside of Australia. The tour should run into early December. At this time based on what our contacts have revealed it looks as if some work on scheduling is still being done, and not all of the dates may have been finalized. We do not know at this time when a tour would be announced, but will continue to bring you information as we know more.

In two weeks, the new remastered versions of No Line on the Horizon are being released. One set will be released on black vinyl (with a black information sticker on the front) and the other set will be released on clear vinyl (with a white information sticker on the front.) Unlike the blue and gold releases last fall of Zooropa and The Joshua Tree, which were exclusive to certain stores, the releases of No Line on the Horizon are not exclusives and should be available anywhere you have purchased new vinyl from Universal in the past.

They are available for pre-order on U2.Com, are now appearing on most Amazon stores worldwide, can be ordered direct from Universal in many countries. You should also be able to enquire now about these at your local record shops to see if they are able to get these in direct for you. To help you find these, the black vinyl will have a catalog number of 5797085 and a UPC of 0602557970852. The clear vinyl version will have a catalog number of 7733839 and a UPC of 0602577338397. Expect to pay more for the clear vinyl – the listings we’ve seen list it at $5 – $8 more expensive than the black vinyl version of the release. The clear vinyl will be limited and once it is sold out it will not be repressed. The black vinyl will be kept in print.

“The Europa EP” is coming soon as well, we are told to expect the announcement of Record Store Day titles towards the end of February. A few other U2 related releases are coming soon as well, including a 2-disc fan club set containing live material from the recent tours. U2 have also recorded a cover of T-Rex’s “Get it On (Bang a Gong)” which will be released on a tribute album later this year. And later in the year we should see the release on home video of the Experience + Innocence tour, filmed by David Mallet’s Serpent Productions.

Below you can find some of our earlier articles on these rumours should you like to look back at previous reports:

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