U2 Tickets Flying Fast, Edge Heads To Court

The frenzy surrounding the U2 Vertigo tour continued over the weekend with more quick sellouts, including all U.K. shows at more than 260,000 tickets, and 55,000 sold for the June 10 European opener i

The frenzy surrounding the U2 Vertigo tour continued over the weekend with more quick sellouts, including all U.K. shows at more than 260,000 tickets, and 55,000 sold for the June 10 European opener in Brussels.

Multiple sellouts in the U.S. include four at Chicago's United Center, three at Boston's FleetCenter, two at the San Diego Sports Arena (the tour opener on March 28), two at the Compaq Center in San Jose, Calif., two at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, two at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, Calif., two at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, and one at the Pepsi Center in Denver, with another to go up Saturday (Feb. 5).

This morning, two shows at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., and one at New York's Madison Square Garden also immediately sold out. The band is expected to return to MSG for at least one show on the fall leg of the tour.

In regard to the problems associated with the U2 fan club pre-sale, disappointed members who were unable to utilize their unique passwords to purchase seats will be accommodated when the bands revisits North America later this year. Members with unused passwords can also receive a full refund of the $40 buy-in fee, with further details to be announced Wednesday.

"As is now obvious from the number of tickets being re-sold at vastly inflated prices on sites such as eBay, we are currently suffering the same 'scalping' problem that accompanies every successful tour," the site said today. "U2.com in combination with the relevant authorities is doing all that it can to identify where these tickets have originated and, where it is possible, to have these sales canceled."

"Although we realized that some subscribers might be scalpers using multiple
e-mail addresses and reserved the right to cancel any ticket order, we underestimated the potential numbers of such scalpers/subscribers," the message continued.

In related news, U2 guitarist the Edge is fighting an Irish newspaper in court over its report into a relative's serious illness that it says forced changes in the Vertigo tour routing.

A High Court judge in Dublin agreed today to a two-week delay to the hearing of rival lawsuits between The Edge and the Sunday World newspaper. The Dublin-based tabloid identified the relative and condition the person was suffering in a front-page story Jan. 8, but withdrew the report from later editions when The Edge's lawyers immediately obtained a temporary injunction.

This barred the Sunday World from repeating its story and warned other Irish newspapers not to pick it up, claiming it amounted to an unwarranted invasion of privacy. The Edge wants the injunction to be strengthened into a permanent injunction against publication.

The Sunday World wants the injunction overturned. Its lawyers are arguing that the details of the relative's illness are newsworthy because they are cited as the reason why the start of the tour was moved from March 1 in Miami to March 28 in San Diego.


-- Ray Waddell, Nashville & AP



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