U2's triumphant trio of concerts at home in Dublin has ended on a sour note, with a street protest by area residents threatening to put a crimp in the band's ongoing world tour, dubbed 360°.
Dozens of residents living around Croke Park Stadium are angry that organizers were granted a 44-hour window to dismantle and remove the band's stage and equipment beginning at 1 a.m. local time — about two hours after the conclusion of Monday night's performance.
No one was "interested in any way in delaying U2 in any shape or form," said David Purdue, a spokesman for the Croke Park Area Residents' Committee.
"This is primarily to get Dublin City Council and the Gaelic Athletic Association [which owns the stadium] to take notice of us and recognize the damage they're doing to the local community," Purdue said.
The protest — which began at midnight and continued through Tuesday morning — and the blockade that residents erected prevented a U2 convoy of about 50 trucks carrying stage components, lighting, TV screens and sound equipment from reaching an early morning ferry. The residents lifted the blockade later to allow trucks carrying some critical parts of the stage to travel on.
Protest 'affects tour schedule'
"We should all not be talking to you and [should be] on a boat," the tour's production director, Jake Berry, told reporters Tuesday morning.
"It affects the tour schedule. Read that any way you want."
Concert promoters MCD Productions informed the protesters that they could be sued for any financial losses incurred because of the disruption.
The band's four members were informed of the protest disruption early Tuesday as they arrived in Nice, France, where they are staying between concerts.
U2 is scheduled to travel next to Sweden to perform at Gothenburg's Ullevi Stadium on Friday and Saturday night. Both shows are almost completely sold out.
The 44-hour dismantling window at Croke Park, coupled with the band's packed concerts for tens of thousands of fans on Friday, Saturday and Monday nights at Ireland's largest stadium, meant area residents will have been subject to heavy nighttime noise for the better part of a week.
Even before the concerts, residents had objected to city council's granting of the dismantling permit.
Throughout U2's current world tour there are always three versions of the stage in circulation at any one time: one that is being constructed in advance of a concert, another that is being dismantled after a concert and a third that is in transport or in use.