U2 invited to headline Glastonbury 2011 as Bono recovers from injury

Organiser Michael Eavis has asked U2 to perform on the opening night of next year's festival now that Bono has recovered from back surgery

U2 have been invited to make up for this year's Glastonbury cancellation by headlining the Friday night at next year's festival.

In an interview this week, festival organiser Michael Eavis revealed that he has already booked two headliners for Glastonbury 2011, as well as offering U2 the chance to play the Pyramid stage for the opening night. Eavis is "absolutely thrilled" with the headliners, he told BBC News. Certainly there's every indication that U2 will play Glastonbury, especially as Bono seems to have recovered from his injuries.

U2 will resume their world tour in Italy tonight, three months after their singer's emergency back surgery forced them to cancel a string of summer dates, including a Glastonbury headline slot. However, the frontman is now "fit" and "moving very well", according to U2's manager, Paul McGuinness.

"Bono's doing just fine," U2 tour producer Arthur Fogel reassured Billboard. "He's been working hard on his rehab, doing quite a bit of work on that every day. He's looking good on stage, he sounds great. We're ready to go on that front." U2's crew have spent the past 10 days erecting their "Claw" stage, with the band on site for the past week. "We did a full run-through, with no breaks, straight through the show, and Bono was moving very well," McGuinness said.

Meanwhile, in Germany, two more versions of the stage are being built in Frankfurt and Hanover, for concerts on 10 and 12 August. All 16 dates of the postponed North American tour have been rescheduled for next year. "Considering the number of tickets sold, there were very few refunds," Fogel said. "And of the tickets refunded, probably a third of them have [already] been resold since we announced the new dates."

U2's 360° tour is already one of the most successful tours of all time. It grossed more than $311m (£196m) last year, and if the American and Canadian dates had taken place, the band would possibly have broken the Rolling Stones' $558m record, set in 2007, for the highest-grossing tour in history. U2 may yet set a new record, either later in 2010 or next year. "The figures will probably be unbeatable," McGuinness said, "unless somebody else does a tour that increases the capacities of the buildings by 20%."


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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