March 8, 2006

U2 cancel rest of world tour

LONDON (Reuters) - Irish rock band U2 have canceled the
final 10 dates of their sell-out world tour due to a family
illness, their promoter said on Thursday.

The group pulled out of shows in New Zealand, Australia,
Japan and Hawaii due to start later this month as part of their
Vertigo '06 tour.

"This action is unavoidable due to the illness of an
immediate family member of one of the band," tour promoter
Arthur Fogel said in a statement on the band's Web site

"Any fan of U2 will realize that this decision has not been
taken lightly. We will announce further details as soon as we
have them."

Fans have clamored to buy tickets for the band's latest
lucrative stadium tour since it opened in Mexico last month.

In Brazil, people waited for more than 12 hours in queues
stretching round city blocks, despite tickets costing about
$75, or two-thirds of Brazil's minimum monthly wage.

In Mexico, lead singer Bono and the band played hits
including "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" to
90,000 fans at the capital Mexico City's Azteca Stadium.

The band -- Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen
-- received an Amnesty International award for their human
rights work before going on stage in Chile.

U2 were among the top three highest earning touring bands
in 2005, making close to $140 million from concerts, according
to trade publication Pollstar.