U2 have postponed all 16 dates of the North American leg of their 360° Tour and canceled their first-ever headlining performance at this year’s Glastonbury Festival in the U.K. after Bono underwent emergency back surgery last week, the band announced on their website. As Rolling Stone reported last week, the band originally postponed their June 3rd kick-off date in Salt Lake City when Bono received surgery in Munich for compression of his sciatic nerve, which resulted in severe pain and partial paralysis in his lower leg. The U2 frontman has been discharged from the hospital and will need to rehabilitate from the surgery. The band will reschedule the postponed concerts for 2011.
“This surgery was the only course of treatment for full recovery and to avoid further paralysis,” said Professor Joerg Tonn, who performed the surgery in Munich last week, in a statement. “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.” That period of rehabilitation and recuperation is a “minimum” of eight weeks.
U2’s 360° Tour is a massive rock & roll undertaking, and as a result, small changes have huge consequences. As Rolling Stone reported last October, the show requires $750,000 a day in overhead, a 170-ton stage, 200 trucks and more than 250 speakers. “Our biggest and I believe best tour has been interrupted and we’re all devastated,” said U2’s manager Paul McGuinness. “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.” “I’m heartbroken,” Bono added. “We really wanted to be there to do something really special — we even wrote a song especially for the Festival.”