Blur Eyeing U.S., European Dates
As well as headline slots at Glastonbury and T in the Park festivals and Oxegen outside Dublin in Ireland, Blur will play two sold-out 50,000-capacity shows at London's Hyde Park (July 2 and 3). The band also has a run of warm-up dates in June and a Manchester MEN Arena show, promoted by AEG Live, on June 26.
Live Nation U.K. is promoting other dates and is co-promoter of the Hyde Park shows with Metropolis; Steve Homer, VP of music Live Nation U.K., says the band is also looking at shows in other territories.
"They have been rehearsing for some time now, for several months," he tells Billboard.biz. "There are no plans beyond T in the Park [July 12] and Oxegen [July 10]. They are talking about some American shows still in the same time frame. There are possibilities of some European ones as well."
One French appearance has so far been confirmed for July 5 at Les Nuits de Fourviere festival in Lyon.
Although Blur never officially split, guitarist Graham Coxon has returned to the band after seven years away. He has also just released another solo album, "The Spinning Top" (Transgressive), while Damon Albarn has had global success with his animated Gorillaz project.
"The appeal of Blur is so potentially big, with the band themselves, but also projects they have done since then and general interest in bands of that era," says Homer.
He adds that Blur's decision to play an open-air show in Hyde Park has made it a focus for other acts considering big reunion shows.
"It was an interesting thing for them to look at rather than a stadium show," says Homer. "It's general admission, there's no golden circle or seating. They bought into the idea of doing something in central London.
"At the moment we are talking to a number of acts that have expressed an interest following the success [of ticket sales] of Blur in Hyde Park. There are acts that are talking about reuniting but there are acts that are just looking at it as part of an outdoor plan outside of festivals."
Homer adds that it has been a "privilege" to work with Blur again, having first promoted them at club shows in Sheffield for their debut single "She's So High" in 1990.
"I'm really looking forward to it, it's a pivotal part of our summer," he tells Billboard.biz. "I'm looking forward to seeing what the set list will be. It's been a long time since they've played any of these songs in front of people, so it will be interesting what they choose to start the set with, coming out in front of 50,000 people at Hyde Park. I think the anticipation of seeing them will be incredibly high."
Blur's booking agent is X-Ray Touring and they are managed by London-based CMO Management.
For more on Blur, reunions and summer tours see the new Summer Preview issue of Billboard.