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Wrap-up of recent news

In the wake of all the news today following Bono's emergency back surgery, I thought it expedient to write as quick a summary as possible of what has happened. Hopefully this will provide some order and clarity amidst all the different - and sometimes inaccurate - reports in the media and wider community.

1. The entire North American leg has been POSTPONED. It has NOT been cancelled, and concertgoers should hold onto their tickets. Live Nation are currently negotiating new dates for 2011. U2.com indicates there will be additional details on rescheduled concerts sooner rather than later.

2. U2's appearance at Glastonbury has been CANCELLED. The bad news has been posted on Glastonbury's website, complete with a comment from Bono that the band had written a song especially for the festival. No word yet on who will take U2's place as the Friday night headliner, or whether U2 will reschedule for a future edition of the festival. (Update: It has subsequently been announced that U2's headlining slot will be filled by Gorillaz.)

3. The European leg at this stage is still scheduled to happen but there MAY be some alterations to the itinerary. In interviews with U2.com and KROQ FM, Edge has indicated that the band are aiming to proceed with the European shows as planned. However, his wording of "ninety five percent confident that Bono will be back in time" and more crucially, "mid-August we'll be back", hints there may be some alteration to the earliest dates of tour as the opener is presently scheduled to be on 6 August 2010 in Turin.

4. The reason some of the earliest European shows may be rescheduled is because the minimum recovery period for Bono's surgery is eight weeks. It may take longer depending on how well he recouperates. An article on U2.com quotes two of Bono's medical specialists on the nature of his condition. He was already suffering partial paralysis in the lower leg, and surgery was the only option to avoid further paralysis. He is expected to fully recover but somehow his doctors and family have to keep him pinned down during the rehabilitation period.

5. There is some good news. In the aforementioned interviews, Edge has spoken about the band's intention to release and perform new material. Explicitly alluding to the fact U2 have rarely performed songs live before their release, he has said that they would like to road-test new songs, and that they have considered eschewing traditional release methods to get the music out there sooner. Naturally we'll now have to wait a bit longer for any new material, but Edge's comments appear to bode well for some surprises in Europe.

As more news comes out, we will keep you informed. For now, we would like to reiterate our best wishes to Bono for a full recovery. And to those of you who were going to the North American dates, both of us here at U2gigs were caught out by the postponement of the Australian and New Zealand concerts in 2006, so we very much empathise with you too. Let's hope we have the certainty of rescheduled dates soon.

Posted on by Axver

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