Continuing our link ups with fan sites across the globe, this week, as the band moves to Berlin, we are delighted to feature U2Tour.
The Zoo spoke to Hans from the core team :
U2tour.de was founded on 22 September 2000, and this year celebrates its 15th birthday. The site started out as a common portal and chat forum for several German U2 fan sites, at the start of the Elevation Tour in 2001 & its message board is now the biggest German language U2 online forum.
After the site’s success during the Elevation Tour, we decided to turn the then purely concert and tour focused site into a general U2 fan site, and since 2002 the site hosts news about the band and its releases. Over the subsequent years, more and more content was added.
Today u2tour.de contains a comprehensive U2 gig archive, an overview of U2 side projects, regular specials featuring interviews with e.g. Anton Corbijn, a U2 travel guide for fans travelling to Dublin, Berlin or the US, a list of all awards won by U2, a book corner, and much more.
The current u2tour.de core team of Björn, Daniel, Didi and Hans, have been with the site from the beginning, and previously were also involved in several U2 fanzines. Flo joined the team as database expert in 2002.This sumer Sabine, Christoph and Oliver joined the adminteam and will take greater responsibility for the site in the future.Over time, and with the site’s growing content, we needed ever more members for our team - these now include Conny, Sarah, Hanna, Dirk, Torsten, Caro, Navid, Sebastian, Andreas and Anne, and also supporters, who have got "special tasks" in our team: Malte, Phaser
For the 2015 Innocence and Experience Tour u2tour.de is a fantastic online resource for information about the tour, and has members of its team at EVERY show of the European leg of the tour, reporting live via Twitter and other channels. In 2009, u2tour.de was the first fan site to use CoverItLive to report from U2 concerts, but this has has now been replaced by a new live blog during the European shows. And they are planning other flash mob during shows...
Apart from the general site, u2tour.de has also been known to throw a good party or two! Our highlight so far was a large party at the Hansa Studios in Berlin in 2005, where U2 did early recordings for Achtung Baby, most famously One. The next day Bono mentioned the party on stage at the Olympiastadium, and we were proud to host not only hundreds of fans from around the world, but also members of U2’s crew (such as Dennis Sheehan) and The Killers.
This year we are planning for another party at the Hansa Studios on the night of 26 September - (it’s already sold out!)
Finally, and in line with U2 fan site tradition, u2tour.de also supports a number of charities, and has been able to donate significant sums from our work.
Launched on September 1st 2003 as (oh, oh, oh!) “The Swedish Thing” - u2.se has just celebrated their 12th birthday.
The founding members have since moved on but left duties to four dedicated fans (Simon 26, Malin 38, Fredrik 24, and Matilda, 20).
Simon told zootopia :
“For the iNNOCENCE+eXPERIENCE Tour, we want to (literally!) highlight Sweden’s leading role in development and aid. Inspired by the #U2ieTour bare lightbulb imagery, we decided to extend that idea to the U2 audience and their cell phones. Everyone should have a guiding light in their lives, and we can all be one.
Over the years, we have organised fan gatherings, a release party for “No Line on The Horizon” and the Vifta Vitt (which translates as “Wave White”) - a ‘Swedish flash mob’ (initiated by former u2.se-contributor Olov Hjärtström Baudin for the Vertigo Tour).
”Vifta Vitt” this time round aims to welcome U2 to Sweden right at the moment the band takes the stage and support the fight against extreme poverty shared by the band and the ONE Campaign.
We really do support the ONE Campaign and encourage U2 fans to register as volunteers with #ONEonTour to help recruit more members in Stockholm. Let me take this opportunity to thank colleagues, collaborators and visitors alike for their support.”
To find out more about U2.SE & organised fan meet-ups before and after each show this week] - check out their website, on twitter, @u2_se (#ViftaVitt) - or watch the video below to learn how to join the flash mob.
During the next few months, as the #U2ieTour moves through Europe we will try to connect up with U2 fan sites from each country the band is visiting..
This week, we are in Turin, Italy, and (big!) thanks to zootop Monica Martino, we hooked up with Rudy, founder of U2Place.com and asked him to let us know a bit about the site and who is involved.
They are organising something very special at the Turin shows, check out their twitter feed for more details, and the hashtag #AmplyRed
U2place.com started in 1999 as a simple blog in Italian... quickly became a real website with news , photos , concerts of U2 and a community . Community that has grown over the years to have about 18,000 members.
Over the years we have organized several flashmob such as in Milan in 2005 , Milan in 2009 and the big " One" in Rome in 2010.
To manage the community and the site we are 20 people . I am the founder and owner , Rudy 35, then there are the news updater ( Massimo 44 , Marco 28, Andrea 30, Stefano 45, Mikaela 40 ) and event & meeting organisers : Adele 38 , Eleonora 38 , Lucia 38, Alessandro 42. Also Marco, 38, forum moderator, Luca, 34, audio specialist, Alessandro, 39, forum moderator and Dennis, 42, special coordinator.
I wrote a book about U2 : " Sogni ad Alta Voce " (Dreams Out Loud)
I attach some photos showing the years about our U2 life experience
#U2Request took place on April 14th, 2015. U2 fans from all over the world united with the goal to have their voices heard, voting for songs they would like to see played live on the new iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour, starting on May 14th 2015 in Vancouver.
Fans worldwide sent over 50K tweets to #U2Request, and 39K of tweets and retweets on April 14th from midnight to 23:59:59 their local time. You can view the full results over here : http://u2request.selfip.info/ by @harrykantas
We asked @Noodles105 to tell the #U2Request story in his own words...
"My name is Angelo D'Arezzo, and I am a U2 fan from Italy".
#U2Request 1.0 - How it all came together. The idea for #U2Request was born at the beginning of last November. I read a post on Facebook by Andrea Morandi: "Which song would you like to hear on the new tour?" I thought to myself, this post will soon be forgotten, but what if we added a hashtag in front? So I wrote to Andrea, and he came back with #U2Request - short, sweet, and easy to remember. This is not where the idea stopped though. The release of Songs Of Innocence and the excitement about the new tour (that had not yet been announced) meant there was an opportunity for us to help get the fans' voices heard, as loud as possible. We reached out to U2 fans, to fan sites on Twitter and Facebook, in hopes of getting our hashtag to go viral as soon as the tour would get announced. The only rule was this was to remain a fan initiative, no logos, no trademarks added to it.
The response was very good, and many fans showed their support. This is how I got to know James Parker (@TheeEdge) and Nicole Nahas (@U2Kouklitsa), who quickly became integral parts of the project. My friend Stefano Vaccaro created an image for us with #U2Request on it, and we started sharing it. And so did the rest of the U2 fans. As soon as the tour was announced, we started tweeting out #U2Request. The response was really good. Steve Lillywhite was kind enough to give #U2Request a nod, requesting 'A Celebration' - what a great honour for a fan initiative!
#U2Request 2.0 - April 14th 2015. The second phase started with Steve's ‘A Celebration’ - U2 have so many great songs, some rarely performed, some not at all. Why not turn this into a global U2 Celebration, show the world why we are U2 fans. What better time than with a newly announced tour, rumours about indoor venues, multiple nights per city and so on. We had to come up with a set date, to kick it off. After discussing this with Andrea, we thought exactly one month before the tour starts would be a good time. This found myself, James, and Nicole fully involved in getting the word out, almost 3 months before the 14th of April. Stefano kept providing us with artwork.
This is a good time to thank all the U2 fan sites for their support. These are all people that work hard everyday to provide news about theirs and our favourite band. Part of our U2 Celebration would also be to recognise that and give back any way we could.
Documentation, Harry's help & getting @U2's attention. At this point, things were looking positive, but some things needed caution: 1) Some people did not fully understand the idea and thought it was our way of expressing dislike of previous U2 setlists or that we were trying to force our opinions to whoever might be listening from the band's associates, rather than for what it was: A Celebration! It’s true that sometimes you get misunderstood over the internet, especially when you speak a different language, and are restricted to 140 characters. The team came up with the idea a document, that would clear all confusion, and have instructions on how to participate.
2) How do we accurately count all the tweets from April 14th? I asked Harry Kantas (@harrykantas) for advice. He and his wife Amra (@u2_ultraviolet) were always kind to our cause. Harry promised to work on a solution for us to have the exact counts of tweets on the day. A few hours later, we had a message from Harry, with a screenshot of some code running, and a comment: "It works ;-)". With our problems solved, we published our document, with all the details, links and instructions for #U2Request, along with a list of fan sites supporting us. This really kicked things off for us. We got many more people on board. AJ Sams of U2wanderer.org wrote an article about us, and taught us a lot. The support of @U2Community came next, and Guy Oseary, U2's manager gave us a nod, by actively fav'ing and retweeting us. Then support from @U2 came along! Peter Rowen was even kind enough to let us use some of his artwork for our purposes.
And that ‘s when the media also started taking notice.
14th of April 2015: World U2 Celebration. Starting at midnight at everyone's local time. Thousands of #U2Request tweets were coming in, we were trending in Italy, Brazil, Ireland and the US!
Virgin Radio, Rolling Stone Italia in Italy. Universal Music in Italy, Spain, France, and Brazil. Olaf Tyaransen and Hot Press Magazine, as well as the Daily Mirror in Ireland. Sons and Fathers, Alzheimer Association supporting #ENDALZ, AfricanWellFund, the attention of Little Museum and other Irish Media. Alan Cross in Canada. Spotify Brazil. Steve Lillywhite was one of our first tweets from Thailand - where our friend James got the opportunity to meet him.
Such an honour to have more than 50K tweets for #U2Request from all over the world. To have so many Fans actively participating by sharing images, videos, and of course their requests. To have the support of so many U2 sites, official or not, supporting us and tweeting for us. To have people, U2 fans or not, paying attention, spending an entire day talking about our favourite band.
Such an honour to be here talking about this with all of you!
An independent company is looking to conduct on-camera interviews with U2 fans in Los Angeles on Friday, April 24. We're looking for people of all ages and all ethnicities willing to share their honest and candid thoughts – both positive and negative – about the band. If interested, please send a 30 second or less video introducing yourself to the following email address:
NOTE: This request has been approved by Management - Baja