U2 apologizes to distraught fans

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    By Stephanie Sonntag

    During one of their three acceptance speeches U2 spent a few minutes at the Grammy Awards apologizing to fans without concert tickets for their spring tour.

    Drummer Larry Mullen addressed the problem at the ceremony and in a letter on U2?s Web site.

    ?Due to circumstances beyond our control a lot of our long-suffering fans ended up queuing overnight and didn?t get tickets,? Mullen said in a letter to fans on their Web site. ?I?d just like to take the opportunity, on behalf of the band, to apologise [sic] to them.?

    Tickets went on pre-sale for the tour on Feb.1 for subscribers to the band?s fan club. Many longtime fans didn?t get tickets because they were competing with scalpers for good seats. Box offices in Phoenix and Denver sold out of tickets within a half hour. There are still a few places to purchase tickets such as www.premiumconcerttickets.com and www.greatseats.com but prices are significantly higher than the official vendor Ticketmaster.

    These options are expensive for college students but local radio stations plan to send die-hard fans to concerts.

    ?We?re looking at hopefully five and six pair of tickets for a concert fly away,? said Cort Johnson, marketing promotions director for Utah?s KENZ radio station. ?We pay for the hotel and the concert. So winners not only see the concert but also enjoy the city.?

    KENZ isn?t the only radio station planning to send listeners to the concert. Mike Nelson, KQMB?s program director said when the tour dates gets closer the station may give away tickets to ?this generation?s Beatles?? concert in L.A. or New York City like they did for the ?Dave Matthews Band.?

    Some BYU students would love to see the band in their upcoming tour.

    ?They are amazing live,? said Mark Eliason a junior from Rockfort, Ill. majoring in English. ?There is a chemistry of how they interact with each other and the audience.?

    For fans who didn?t get tickets, U2 may come back to Salt Lake City during the second leg of their tour in the fall. Nelson said that radio station would get around 50 to 100 tickets for the concert through the record companies and band promoters.

    ?Radio does a lot to drive record sales,? Nelson said. ?They [the songs we play] are like a three and a half minute advertisements.?

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