Equipment Envy

Land transport alone wouldn’t be enough to move the band’s equipment from city to city. U2 and the Claw hit North America, South America, Russia, Europe and Australia over the course of this two-year tour. The 110 shows were seen by an estimated seven million people and brought in $730 million in total revenue. In one notable $2 million jaunt, they took a break from the ‘regular’ tour and flew from Baltimore to Wales to play at Glastonbury.

Behind the magic was a well-oiled machine -- effortlessly unpacking, assembling, breaking down and packing up a monumental stage and all its components (the video screen itself took eight hours to set up and six to take down). Their efforts paid off: the Claw and its screen (not to mention the pulleys used to move the screen up and down), the sound system, moving walkways, and rotating lighting rigs all kept audiences around the world enthralled and on their feet.

Designed to sit in the middle of a stadium, the specialty stage was created to give these audiences a completely new live music experience -- one that concert attendees now seek out more and more. Burning Man attendees, once devoted to personal artistic pursuits, now require an ever-increasing suite of amenities -- the delivery of which can pose an organizational challenge in the middle of the desert.

With all the associated sets, lighting, audio equipment and crew, arena concerts pose some of the biggest challenges in supply chain management -- but as the success of the 360° Tour indicates, the rewards of a well-deployed tour can be well worth the logistical gymnastics.

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