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U2 and South America: update on the situation

Many of you have been wondering what the latest news is regarding a possible tour of South America by U2 early next year. Rumours continue to circulate, so here's a bit of a summary of the state of play at the moment.

It seems that the main reason a tour has not yet been announced is because of problems in organising a venue in Argentina. River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires is the preferred venue of the promoters, but concerts are only currently being permitted there if they have a seated floor (to reduce the structural impact of vibrations). This is obviously an unacceptable condition for U2, and an alternative has been lined up in the form of Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, in the nearby city of La Plata. The promoters, however, continue to try to gain access to River Plate Stadium and have offered large sums of money to achieve this desire. Negotiations appear to be ongoing.

Whether held in Buenos Aires or La Plata, the rumoured timeframe is the same: two, possibly three shows between 29 March and 1 April.

Three Brazilian cities have been rumoured: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Porto Alegre. Sao Paulo has the strongest rumours; these suggest that U2 will play two shows at Morumbi on or around 7 and 8 April. Porto Alegre, a city U2 have never performed in before, has been rumoured for 21 April. Rio was initially not featured strongly in rumours, as the Maracanã is currently closed for renovations in the lead-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. However, a recent rumour has suggested the band might perform at Engenhão sometime during April.

Rumours for Chile are pretty straightforward - the venue will be Estadio Nacional as usual, with two shows on or around 25 and 26 March. If there is indeed a second show, it will be the first time U2 have performed two shows in Chile on the one tour.

Peru and elsewhere
It is unlikely that U2 will perform outside the above three countries. There have been some rumours that U2 will perform in Peru at Estadio Nacional in Lima. However, these rumours appear to be weak. Bono has also been invited to perform at the celebrations commemorating the centenary of Machu Picchu's rediscovery (see this report, which mentions that Paul McCartney and Sting have also been invited). However, there are often public press releases that some person or organisation has invited Bono to perform at a celebration, charity fundraiser, and other events of a similar nature. These invitations are not normally accepted, for obvious reasons. Though Bono, if you would ever like to perform at the U2gigs.com Celebration of Setlists in Melbourne, say at the Northcote Social Club or the Workers Club, consider this your formal invitation! I'll issue the press release now.

Moving beyond Peru, the seemingly annual rumour that "U2 are coming to Colombia!" has resurfaced. It is unlikely that this rumour is based on anything more than some wishful thinking by an optimistic promoter. Don't hold your breath. Same goes if the other seemingly annual South American rumour, "U2 are coming to Venezuela!", also crops up. No other South American countries have featured in the rumour mill.

When will it all be announced?
In short: nobody's sure. It may be very soon; it may not be.

Almost every week, there is a new report (often from a decent source) that an announcement is imminent and South American fans will finally be put out of their agony. There is currently a rumour that presales could begin before the end of November, and this remains plausible given U2.com's current frustrating habit of announcing shows just a day or two prior to the presale. However, it is also possible that an announcement may not be made before the end of the year, presumably because the Argentine promoter won't let River Plate Stadium go. Recently, Paul McCartney announced his tour roughly only a month before the concerts. Let's hope South American U2 fans don't have to wait that long.

Posted on by Axver

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