U2 at Croke Park: Everything you need to know

Set times, security and set lists for the Joshua Tree reboot

Croke Park prepares for U2's Joshua Tree Tour. Video: Nahuel Gutierrez

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Where does the time go, eh? Just a mere 30 years ago, a wee Dublin band released an album called The Joshua Tree, taking them from bleedin’ massive to absolutely unavoidable. This Saturday in Croke Park, U2 will be making a homecoming (“But they’ve never left,” you cry) of sorts on Dublin soil with The Joshua Tree Tour, so expect a lot of sentiment and odes to the old country from Bono.

Other than the 1987 album, which they will be playing from start to finish, their setlist puts a heavy focus on songs of old rather than recent releases. Reviews from the American leg of the tour praise the band for bringing the same spark they delivered in the 1980s, with songs like Sunday Bloody Sunday and Bullet the Blue Sky delivering the same political and social punch today as they did back then.

For U2 haters, this might be a good week to mute the band’s name on Twitter, avoid RTÉ One on Thursday at 7pm for Tony McCarthy’s film U2 agus An Arc, and turn off the radio.

U2 may just be playing one Irish gig on this tour but they’re going to dominate everywhere else for most of the week. Lord have mercy on us.

Are tickets still available?

Do you have a granny? A granddad? A husband, a dog and four kids? Are you willing to sell them down the river? Even at that, you haven’t a hope in hell getting tickets for this.

What time does it kick off?

Gates open at 5pm and no queuing is allowed prior to that. Support comes from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – you might have heard of him before – and he’s onstage at 7pm. U2 are expected onstage at 8.30pm.

How do I get there?

Organisers advise that guests either walk, cycle or use public transportation to get to Croke Park as there is very limited car parking in the area and traffic will be especially heavy. Dublin Bus and the Dart will be going business as usual in the area and Irish Rail have put on additional train services from Dublin Heuston to Galway (00.30) and Cork with a connection to Limerick Colbert (00.40).

What about security? You should know the drill now but backpacks and large handbags are not permitted into the venue. Bags must be no bigger than A4 size and there will be no cloakroom facilities onsite. Strict security checks will be in operation with all bags being searched so give yourself extra time to get into the venue. Pack light to keep your time in line at the security check to a minimum.

What about the weather?

This is an outdoor event and it will go ahead no matter what the weather brings. According to yr.no, it will be 18 degrees and dry but pack a mac in a sack, just in case.

What are they likely to play?

If the tour title isn’t enough of a hint, you know what to expect but there’s plenty of room on their setlist for other favourites but, more importantly, there’s hardly any new stuff. Here’s a setlist from their gig in Stadio Olimpico, Rome on June 16th.

– Sunday Bloody Sunday

– New Year’s Day

– A Sort of Homecoming

– Pride (In the Name of Love)

– Where the Streets Have No Name

– I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

– With or Without You

– Bullet the Blue Sky

– Running to Stand Still

– Red Hill Mining Town

– In God’s Country

– Trip Through Your Wires

– One Tree Hill

– Exit

– Mothers of the Disappeared

Encore

– Miss Sarajevo

– Beautiful Day

– Elevation

– Vertigo

– Mysterious Ways

– Ultraviolet (Light My Way)

– One

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