Review | U2 – Beautiful Day in JHB

A few months ago, I was elated to get my tickets, but the count down to the show seemed a million years away… BAM! Before I could even say ‘Sunday, Bloody Sunday’ the day was drawing near.

All one can say is that all you can do when you first lay your eyes on The Claw is gasp. The magnitude is something that you simply cannot explain to anyone who hasn’t seen it for him or herself.
I really cannot say or post a picture that could in anyway describe the atmosphere, the sound, the lights and the pure joy you get when you are standing in that arena.

Unfortunately any event this large always has its hiccups.
I’m not even sure where to begin…

The Heineken Tent was total chaos!
You had to first purchase tokens at R20 a pop, and then you can take the tokens to the bar to purchase your beer. Sounds simple enough if things are flowing. NOT so cool when the token counter is jammed because the tills aren’t working, so they cannot take in cash.
From here, people were buying 4 beers for themselves at a time, as not to stand in the row again, and getting smashed face because they don’t want their beers to get warm.
You also had to pour your own beers into plastic cups – eventually people were taking the glass bottles and cans into the arena.

So basically you’re queuing to queue – approximately a 45min to an hour.
So now you’re saying, ‘but I don’t drink…’ well I hate to be the barer of bad news, but the Soft Drinks and water queue is JUST as long – never mind the fact that you stand in line for about an hour to get some food!

Even worse was the Park & Ride facility to The Dome at close of the concert.

Firstly we were told that North of the Stadium was in the opposite direction of which we were heading in – by two different security guards, and we were in fact heading towards the correct path – and then we got to the parking lot only to discover hordes of people waiting to get back to their cars at Northgate.

It was Mayhem!
There was no structure, no system and no one to actually guide you in the right direction.
Eventually it ended up in a massive brawl, fists flying and head butting taking place – all because one bus driver wouldn’t subdue the situation by opening his doors to let passengers on… unbelievable that something like that can leave such a bad taste in your mouth.

What I don’t get is the following:

• You know you have to cater for 100 000 people – make sure you have ample food stands available.
• If you want to be the sole liquor distributor – get a system that works! Tokens for Beer? The bar is TOTALLY empty, because no one can purchase tokens. Have a back up plan! Also plan not to have your token staff at a minimum.
• AND KNOW that people are tired and want to get home after such a long day – have ushers at the Park & Ride points!

Now I don’t want to moan and groan because in all fairness, I would do it all over again.
I found tears streaming down my face when, ‘Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ started to play. There are so many intense and powerful moments throughout the show, and let me tell you, you get your money’s worth and MORE!

I don’t want to tell you EVERYTHING about the concert, because Cape Town’s turn is still coming up. I’ve posted VERY selective photo’s not wanting to spoil all of it, but I’m sure you have seen so many pics on FB and Twitter already!
There are so many elements and surprises to the show. It really was World Class, and those of you that have Red Zone tickets are the envy of SA.
For those of you that have General Tickets, don’t stress too much, the stage is so massive that you can be anywhere in the stadium and experience the whole concert without feeling left out.
For those of you going Inner Circle, get there early. Bono serenaded a lucky lady and drew her onto stage with him.

I’m hoping that the CT set up will have a lot less issues, but be prepared.
GO EARLY! Research all your travel plans on Get the beverages and food that you need, chill out on the grass and experience everything.

Some behind the scenes information:
I was lucky enough, many thanks to the Primedia Team, to have a stage tour on Friday 12th, and just to give you kiddos an idea of what you’re in for:

• It takes about 6 – 7 days to set up the stage (and once you’ve been to the concert you understand exactly why)
• The total height of the stage is 36m, and it’s 68m in length, and 48m in depth – MASSIVE!
• The band has a touring crew of 134 people, and then they hire local crew to assist with set up.

Some comments from the band: Bono, “… I look at South Africa, and see my future…” Larry on the drums “…feels as much as winning the World Cup…”
Inspirational if you think about all the countries that these guys have been to!

Good news: for those of you that haven’t got tickets yet, when the construction reaches its end point, they release some extra tickets!
Or you can always just win on our awesome site!!! (You have till 6 today)

I also need to state something VERY CLEARY! 94.7 Highveld were not responsible for the transport facilities or the food and beverage situation – that was all in the hands of the events company… I’m unsure of who they were as I have had no response from Big Concerts on that matter.

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  1. Cant wait. Got tickets today. Friday is gonna rock. Sorry the other stuff ruined it for you. We do things properly in CT so sure we wont have the same issues 🙂

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