All tickets for U2’s Croke Park concert sold out - organisers

No second gig expected as standing tickets on sale for more than €1,000 on reselling website

U2 bought pizzas for their diehard fans who had been queuing since Friday for tickets to the bands Croke Park shows. Video: Rachel Flaherty

 

All tickets for U2’s Croke Park Joshua Tree 30th anniversary concert on July 22nd have sold out , organisers have said.

A spokeswoman for the band told the Irish Times just before the tickets went on sale at 9am a second Croke Park concert would not be added.

With a capacity of 78,000, Croke Park is one of the largest venues on its European tour.

The spokeswoman announced about 11.14am the concert had sold out, about two hours after the tickets went on sale.

However within an hour of tickets going on sale, advertisements for tickets appeared on reselling website Stubhub.co.uk, with the most expensive standing ticket going for £1,000 (€1,137.50).

Seatwave, a reselling website owned by Ticketmaster, was listing tickets at an average price of €299.43. The highest price for an individual standing ticket was €800, more than €720 greater than the original price.

First in the queue after waiting a lengthy 65 hours, which included sleeping three nights in the bitter cold and rain on the street outside Ticketmaster in St Stephen’s Green shopping centre, was Vincent Kearns from Rathfarnham.

“It’s worth it. I’d be afraid to go online and risk the system crashing. Then I’d have to go to the credit union to borrow money to buy from a ticket tout,” Mr Kearns said.

Mr Kearns told Irish Times he was “elated and relieved” to finally get this hands on the tickets shortly after they went on sale.

“I feel like the child in Willie Wonka who got the golden ticket,” he said.

He said he had been to see U2 more than 70 times in Ireland and the UK and had queued each time for the tickets over the last 30 years.

But the July concert in Croke Park this year was an extra special one for him.

“I’m 50 on the day of the gig. I’ll have my family and friends around me there,” he said.

He said the group of fans got a surprise from Bono and the band on Sunday night with an unexpected delivery.

“They sent us 15 pizzas. It was a terrific gesture and nice to know they know we’re here and how dedicated we are.”

Dave Griffith, who was second in the queue, said he was surprised to receive the pizza “present from Bono”.

“It was lovely. It’s never happened me before,” he said.

Mr Griffith, from Terenure, said he been waiting since 11am on Saturday morning.

“I’d rather chop off my right arm and miss the gig,” he laughed.

“I’ve been queuing like this for tickets for U2 since 1987, some people do think I’m mad to do it. It’s my equivalent of a golf weekend.

“I’m a huge fan and it’s always the same lads here so it’s good fun.”

Mr Griffith said after two nights sleeping on the street he was feeling “good but tired”.

“I am thrilled to get my tickets, I’m off home to bed now,” he said.

Patrick Coughlan, from Artane in Co Dublin, said it was a “worry” to get the tickets until they were actually in his hands.

Mr Coughlan, who joined the queue at 8.30pm on Saturday night, said he had suffered an asthma attack on Sunday night.

“But I brought all my medication and nebuliser, and a change of clothes. About 12pm last night I got a asthma attack but I’ve come well prepared. I used my nebuliser and I feel ok now,” he said.

“ My wife is very supportive of me being here. U2 are an amazing band, there’s no other like them. I’m very excited to be heading to their gig.”

Martin Shanahan, who is originally from Bantry in west Cork and now lives in London, said although he made the “rookie mistake” of forgetting his gloves while he queued on the street.

Mr Shanahan said had waited on the street for 48 hours to make sure he got a ticket.

“Between about 3 and 5am you start to think maybe it’s not the best idea I’ve come up with, it’s so cold and wet. Night and day blend into each other. Your body aches like hell and it’s not easy but it’s worth it. The camaraderie gets your through,” he said.

Mr Shanahan said he had seen the original The Joshua Tree tour in 1987 and could not risk missing out on the anniversary tour.

“It’s like Christmas in January for me getting these tickets,” he said. “U2 is a band that keeps getting better and have an unique sound. They know how to captivate an audience.”

The group of fans said as they waited on the street over the weekend some of the public thought they were homeless and one man offered them €50 for food.

They said homeless people who were used to sleeping on the street checked on them every now and then to see if they were ok.

Newcomers to the queue were not put off about with U2’s spokeswoman announcing there would be no second concert in Croke Park.

“I’m not believing that. They always announce a second one. I’m late for work but I’ll take my chances,” Robert Simons said.

Near the end of the queue on Grafton Street on Monday morning, Ann Marie Fox said she was still “pretty hopeful” of getting a ticket.

“I’d be disappointed if Imissed out on a ticket but not devastated. I was at the original concert and it was great,” she said.

It’s going to be a great night in Dublin,” Bono said when he announced the concerts. “Croke Park is where the album was born 30 years ago”.

However, a large number of fans took to social media upset at not being able to buy tickets at their original price from the Ticketmaster site.

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock has renewed calls for “ticket touting” legislation.

“I’ve been inundated with people contacting me regarding examples of ticket touting following the sale of U2 tickets this morning,” he said.

“It’s just not fair on true fans who couldn’t obtain a ticket this morning. The Government now has to act swiftly to outlaw the reselling of tickets over face value.

“With Ticketmaster now operating Seatwave, a secondary ticket selling portal, its questionable as to whether they are doing everything they can to limit the level of ticket touting.”

A Ticketmaster spokesman said the U2 tour had been “exceptionally popular”.

“With artists of this stature, demand often far outstrips the supply of tickets. Ticketmaster is committed to the overall ticket buying process to ensure artists get tickets into the hands of fans and never places tickets on secondary market sites,” he said.

This 30th anniversary tour begins in Vancouver on May 12th (also where they started their last Songs of Innocence and Experience tour) before taking in a number of US dates in May and June before moving to London’s Twickenham Stadium on July 8th. Noel Gallagher will be the support act on the European dates.

“It seems like we have come full circle from when The Joshua Tree songs were originally written, with global upheaval, extreme right wing politics and some fundamental human rights at risk,” The Edge said when the concerts were announced.

“To celebrate the album - as these songs seem so relevant and prescient of these times too - we decided to do these shows, it feels right for now. We’re looking forward to it.”

Bandmate Adam Clayton said the decision to hold the 30th anniversary tour was influenced by recent world events and the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States which has led to “more desperate times”. In 1987, when U2 released The Joshua Tree, Thatcher and Regan were in power with “some very dark forces at work”, Clayton told RTÉ 1’s Ryan Tubridy Show.

The band has decided to put its Songs of Experience album on hold until the end of 2017 in favour of focusing on The Joshua Tree tour in the coming months.