Dublin gets ready to be rocked once again by U2

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Friday, June 24, 2005

U2 in concert earlier this year in Anaheim

240,000 U2] fans are preparing for Ireland's most successful band ever to return for a hometown gig in Dublin. The supergroup is playing Friday, Saturday and Monday in front of 80,000 people a night at Croke Park. Gardaí have put in place a massive traffic management plan to cope with the influx of people. Fans have been queing since Thursday morning when a group of fans from Holland, Italy and Canada started queuing outside the stadium.

The concert forms part of U2's current "Vertigo" world tour. The support acts include emerging Irish bands Snow Patrol and The Thrills along with already very popular Paddy Casey. Ash and The Bravery will cap it off as warm up acts on Monday.

The gates for the gig will open at 4pm with the actual band not expected until around 8.30pm. Irish media has entered a frenzied anticipation of the concert all this week, with constant coverage on radio stations. The national broadcaster, RTÉ, is set to dedicated almost 3hr 30min to the band with an exclusive interview by Dave Fanning forming the centerpiece of the stations coverage of the "U2 weekend". Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, who played in front of a sell out crowd in Dublin earlier this week told fans that U2 were "still the best band in the world".

Croke Park is the fourth largest stadium in Europe, with an official capacity of 82,000 - bigger than both Cardiff's Millennium Stadium and Paris' Stade de France. Croke Park is used to host GAA matches in sports such as hurling and Gaelic football and regularly attracts audiences of 60,000 or more in the summer months.

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