U2 postpones North American tour until 2011
Irish rockers U2, who were due to spend the summer tackling a new round of North American shows as part of their massive U2360° stadium outing, have pushed the run back until next year so that Bono can recover from emergency back surgery.
"Our biggest and I believe best tour has been interrupted and we're all devastated," band manager Paul McGuinness said in a prepared statement. "For a performer who lives to be on stage, this is more than a blow. [Bono] feels robbed of the chance to do what he does best and feels like he has badly let down the band and their audience. Which is of course nonsense. His concerns about more than a million ticket buyers whose plans have been turned upside down, we all share, but the most important thing right now is that Bono make a full recovery."
McGuinness went on to say that the group is already working with tour-promoter Live Nation to reschedule the 16-date trek, which was originally scheduled to get underway June 3 in Salt Lake City and run through a July 19 finale at New Jersey's Meadowlands Stadium.
"Additional details on rescheduled dates will follow shortly and fans are encouraged to hold on to their tickets," Live Nation said in a press release.
As previously reported, Bono underwent emergency surgery at Munich's Ludwig Maximilians-University Hospital last Friday (5/21) following a back injury.
"Bono suffered severe compression of the sciatic nerve," Dr. Muller Wohlfahrt said in a prepared statement. "On review of his MRI scan, I realized there was a serious tear in the ligament and a herniated disc, and that conservative treatment would not suffice. I recommended Bono have emergency spine surgery with Professor Tonn at Munich's LMU University Hospital on Friday."
"Bono was referred to me by Dr. Muller Wohlfahrt late last week with a sudden onset disease," Tonn added. "He was already in severe pain with partial paralysis in the lower leg. The ligament surrounding the disc had an 8mm tear and during surgery we discovered fragments of the disc had traveled into the spinal canal. This surgery was the only course of treatment for full recovery and to avoid further paralysis. Bono is now much better, with complete recovery of his motor deficit. The prognosis is excellent, but to obtain a sustainable result, he must now enter a period of rehabilitation."
Dr. Muller Wohlfahrt continued, "We are treating Bono as we would treat any of our athletes, and while the surgery has gone very well, the coming weeks are crucial for a return to full health. In the next days, he will start a light rehabilitation program, with increasing intensity over the next 8 weeks. In our experience, this is the minimum time."
In addition to postponing its North American tour plans, U2 has scrapped its planned appearance at next month's Glastonbury Festival.
"I'm heartbroken," Bono said in message posted at U2's website. "We really wanted to be there to do something really special -- we even wrote a song especially for the festival."