Ovation Travel Experiences to provide Vertigo tour packages

U2 fans who purchased Vertigo tour packages from ETS will be serviced by Ovation Travel Experiences (OTX) when the tour resumes later this year. The following press release, prepared by OTX, provides the details, as well as explains how fans may still purchase Vertigo tour packages.

September 6, 2006 – Kingston, Ontario

The long-awaited comeback of U2’s Vertigo tour is here! Fans from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Hawaii now have the chance to experience the rescheduled touring phenomenon already seen in North America, Europe and South America. We are proud to announce that Ovation Travel Experiences (OTX) is along for the ride! The staff at Ovation is dedicated to providing our customers with the best event experience possible, with a variety of concert packages for Vertigo 2006.

The music industry was shocked earlier this year to hear about the demise of ETS Travel Services, an industry pioneer dating back to 1973. Attention shifted immediately to the hundreds of clients who had booked with ETS, and were now searching for answers regarding their purchased U2 ticket packages! As one of the major selling outlets for ETS, Ovation Travel felt the effects of their closure first hand. Friends quickly found themselves without work, and the existing OTX staff struggled to keep our own product moving forward. Despite the confusion and hardship, we did not forget about those left in limbo that we had the chance to help! Ovation immediately contacted The Next Adventure (TNA) and offered our assistance to the U2 community, and to help solve the dilemma. The folks at TNA graciously promised to take care of everyone who had booked with the former ETS, providing quick answers to concerned U2 fans. With Ovation’s help, those fans were contacted and once again given the chance to see U2 live in concert!

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Let’s talk tour

For months, we haven’t heard any news or rumors about the postponed Vertigo tour dates being rescheduled, but all of that is quickly changing. We finally have some tour information to share from a number of reliable sources.

Our friends at U2japan.com have learned that the Tokyo Dome has been reserved on December 14 and 15 for U2’s use. They report that the promoter and U2 management are locked on the issue of ticket price. U2 want to keep prices fair; the promoter wants to sell “premium” tickets. If U2 perform at the Tokyo Dome, it will likely be to fans all sitting in reserved seats because of Japan’s strict fire codes.

U2japan.com also has learned when and where U2’s stage set is to be delivered to their part of the world. An employee of the sea transportation company that will be handling U2’s set revealed the company expects U2’s set to arrive in Yokohama Port in September or October. If this information is true, it may mean U2 intend to rehearse in Japan before beginning the tour again in Australia and New Zealand in November (the current rumored tour commencement date) — or it may mean the first rescheduled dates will be in Japan — or it might mean nothing other than Yokohama Port is a common delivery point for sets and equipment.

We’ve heard from several sources that the tour route will be slightly different than originally planned, with Australia getting their rescheduled dates first, followed by New Zealand, Japan, and Hawaii. The show at Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium may be a New Year’s Eve show, which fits with the publication of a curious item at Ticketmaster.com on March 1. For a short time on that date, Ticketmaster.com listed an event at Aloha Stadium on December 31st for $1. When questioned about the event, Ticketmaster said it was a placeholder in the system for an event to be announced later. Even then, fans suspected it was for U2’s rescheduled show.

Perhaps the most interesting news we’ve heard is there may be additional concerts in countries that were not previously listed on the tour schedule and countries that have already been Vertigo-ed. Yes, that means the United States. Again.

Of course, we need to point out that all of this information could be rubbish, or it could be true for the moment and false tomorrow. Whatever the case, we like tour talk and are ready for more.

U2’s fabulous year

Billboard has published Paul McGuinness’ reflections on 2005:

“This was such a great year for U2. A No. 1 album in 20 countries, 110 shows all sold out, 3.3 million tickets sold, 100% of the tickets we put on sale. Nine million-plus sold of the current record, 3 million catalog, 2 million DVDs. U2 have never been bigger or better. Next year after Mexico, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, we will end the Vertigo tour in Honolulu.”

We’d say that was a pretty good year too, full of many numbers.