March 8, 2006

U2 scraps Asia-Pacific shows because of illness

LONDON (Reuters) - Irish rock band U2 have postponed the
Asia-Pacific leg of their sold-out world tour due to a family
illness, their promoter said on Thursday.

"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."

The band's publicist in Los Angeles declined to elaborate
on the announcement.

U2 was scheduled to begin the Asia-Pacific portion of its
"Vertigo" world tour in the New Zealand city of Auckland on
March 17, and then play Australia, Japan and Hawaii. In all, it
postponed 10 shows.

U2 last played New Zealand 12 years ago and Australia eight
years ago. The band has been touring the world in support of
its Grammy-winning album "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb"
since March 2005.

It completed the Latin American leg in Buenos Aires last
week. In Brazil when tickets went on sale, 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, guitarist the Edge, bass player Adam
Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. -- received an Amnesty
International award for its 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.

U2's tour is promoted by TNA, a unit of Live Nation Inc.,
the recently spun-off live-entertainment arm of Clear Channel
Communications Inc.