2022-10-16

The Times and Sunday Times Tent, Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham, England

Set List of Show:

  • "Vertigo"
  • "With or Without You"
  • "City Of Blinding Lights"

Additional Music

Snippets of Other Songs Performed by Bono:

Show Details:

Bono appeared at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, the fourth such stop promoting his new memoir, Surrender following similar appearances in New York, San Francisco and Dublin. Like the previous appearance in New York, Bono performed at this appearance, with Jacknife Lee and Kate Ellis accompanying him on drums and keyboards, and cello. After a short performance, Bono conversed with media personality Emma Freud, in a presentation titled, “Bono: One Story”. Joe O’Herlihy and Willie Williams were both seen working at the Festival with both watching the show from behind the soundboard. Ellis and Lee performed with Bono in New York earlier in the month at a Festival appearance and will accompany Bono on the upcoming “Stories of Surrender” tour.

Early in the afternoon, an instrumental soundcheck could be heard, with Lee and Ellis working through three songs, “With or Without You”, “Vertigo” and “City of Blinding Lights”. The three songs are the same three that were debuted in New York earlier in the month. When Bono arrived on site, soundcheck continued, and Bono could be heard working on “Vertigo”, then “With or Without You” and finally “City of Blinding Lights”. The evening performance kicked off with the performance of the three songs, mixed with passages from Bono’s book. After the performance of these three songs, Bono asked for Emma Freud to join him on stage, where he answered questions from Freud, as well as questions taken from the audience via text message. The performance was about twenty minutes, and although scheduled to run from 7:45pm – 8:45pm GMT, Bono was on stage for around 75 minutes in total. Attendees at the show spoke about how good Bono’s voice sounded during the performance.

The performance and discussion was held at The Times and Sunday Times Tent, which is located in Montpellier Gardens. The venue had tiered seating, and holds approximately 1500 people. Attendees were given out tote bags ahead of the discussion, which featured the book’s logo on one side, and the text from the back cover of the book on the reverse. (This is the first merchandise known to be available for Surrender.)

The Cheltenham Literature Festival is an annual festival held in the English town of Cheltenham, part of a series of festivals held there, celebrating music, science and literature. The festival was initially formed in 1949, and is the longest running literary festival in the world. The Festival is sponsored by The Times and The Sunday Times. Previous guests of the festival include Judi Dench, Bob Geldof, Patrick Stewart, Richard Attenborough and Salman Rushdie. The literature festival focuses on the written and spoken word. The 2022 festival is a 10 day program. Bono appeared on the final day of the festival for 2022.

Entering the venue Bono spoke with fans, and signed autographs, while speaking about the book. Bono’s wife Ali is in attendance at the discussion tonight. During the discussion that followed, Bono spoke about the early days of the band, shared stories about the band, spoke about writing “I Will Follow”, about activism, the mullet, his parents. He also spent a lot of time discussing fears of violence during some of U2’s earlier tour stops sharing how Adam Clayton had stepped in front of him on stage to make sure Bono could not be harmed during one tour stop where threats had been made. He also spoke about meeting with Pope John Paul II, President George W Bush, and how Mikhail Gorbachev visited his home in Dublin in 2002, meeting Ali’s goddaughter Anna who was born with severe disabilities due to the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl.

Bono also mentioned the Songs of Surrender album for the first time, although he shared he couldn’t say much about it. He did share the Edge would be featured on the cover of the album, and it would be a picture of him fully bald, and that the Edge had chosen the photograph himself to appear on the cover. Bono did say that the album would be out soon but a date was not given.

Thank you to U2Valencia.com and Alan Ivory for assistance with this page.

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