U2 Cancels Glasto, Postpones Tour

U2’s debut gig at Britain’s iconic Glastonbury festival has been canceled because of lead singer Bono’s back injury.

Concert promoters Live Nation said Tuesday that the North American leg of U2’s tour will be postponed until 2011.

Festival organizers said Bono called founder Michael Eavis to tell him. In a statement on Glastonbury’s Web site, Eavis said it “was obvious from our telephone conversation that U2 are hugely disappointed.”

A replacement headlining act has not been announced. The festival, which runs June 23-27, attracts more than 175,000 people.

Bono underwent emergency back surgery May 21 in Munich. He has been released from hospital but doctors recommend at least two months rest.

“Bono suffered severe compression of the sciatic nerve,” Dr. Muller Wohlfahrt said in a statement.  “On review of his MRI scan, I relalized there was a serious tear in the ligament and a herniated disc, and that conservative treatment would not suffice.”  Wohlfart referred Bono to another doctor in Munich for the surgery.

U2 manager Paul McGuinness added, “Our biggest and we believe best tour has been interrupted and we’re all devastated.  For a performer who lives to be on stage, this is more than a blow.  He feels robbed of the chance to do what he does best and feels like he has badly let down the band and thier 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.  We’re working as fast as we can with Live Nation to reschedule those dates.

Live Nation global touring chief exec Arthur Fogel said, “Although we understand the disappointment to U2 fans, first and foremost comes the recovery of Bono.”

Fans are encouraged to hold on to their tickets, according to the statement.

The U2 postponement comes hours after Live Nation confirmed Christina Aguilera also is postponing her tour to 2011. Both were expected to be highlights of Live Nation’s summer touring season, and also followed the cancellation of a Limp Bizkit shed tour.