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Welcome to @U2 Tours (beta)!
(tours.atu2.com)

Welcome to the new U2tours.com, which is moving to a new home on @U2 at tours.atu2.com. The new site provides all of the same great U2 concert history that you've come to love over the past 14 years, but also adds a lot of new information and fun, new features that we think U2 fans around the world will come to love.

We're in a "beta" period right now. What's that mean, you ask? Three things:

1.) We know there are bugs.

2.) We know there's missing information (especially snippets in setlists).

3.) We'd really appreciate your help with #1 and #2 above.

We've been working on this site on and off for a couple years. We've reached the point now where we had two choices: 1) keep the site private and try to fix all the setlists ourselves, or 2) open the site and find fellow fans that want to be part of the project. Option #1 would probably mean a year or two of listening to bootlegs by ourselves, so we're choosing option two. :-)

We want to let U2 fans start to kick the tires with us and -- since this is still a work-in-progress -- help us identify missing concert information, find and fix bugs and so forth. To help with that, we've created two other pages:

Before you click over and start reading, though, please read below for a little background about this project.

How We Got Here (i.e., The Mistakes We Made Over 14 Years)

by Matt McGee

U2tours.com launched in 2000 and was the first site online that listed every known concert that U2 had ever played in a fully searchable and organized database -- all the tours, cities, venues and songs from every concert, along with photos, reviews (from fans and media outlets) and commentary/recaps of U2 concerts. You could search for and find, for example, a list of concerts that U2 had performed in Boston during the month of May (in any year). You could find all the shows that U2 ever played on Halloween. You could find all the shows in any city or country, any month or year, etc.

It was, if I may say so, utterly groundbreaking at the time.

But while times have changed and web technology has progressed dramatically since 2000, U2tours.com didn't advance. We got lazy as fans and didn't focus on improving the site. The site has continued to use the same database for the past 14 years, for example. That's unheard of and, in retrospect, was a mistake on our part. We made some incremental upgrades over the years, but we should've redone the site much sooner in order to be able to give U2 fans the deep information many of you want about U2's live shows.

Meanwhile, other sites came along and improved upon the idea of a tours site. The most notable now is U2gigs.com, which has done a phenomenal job of detailing U2's setlists over the years -- especially the various song snippets that Bono has sung. Matthias et al have built a wonderful resource for U2 fans.

But we continue to have our own ideas about what a site dedicated to U2's touring history should offer, and we've put most of those ideas into the new @U2 Tours. The new site lets us fix many of the things we did wrong on U2tours.com, while also adding numerous new features and information.

What mistakes am I talking about? Here are a couple:

1.) Poor data entry. On U2tours.com, our data entry was sloppy. We would type out the name of every song U2 played in concert, but since there were several different people over the years who did this data entry, song titles were often typed differently. It became impossible for fans to find all instances of a song being performed because one song might've been listed in the database like this:

  • Still Haven't Found
  • I Still Haven't Found
  • I Still Haven't Found...
  • I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

On U2tours.com, that list was counted as four different songs. When we started working on the new site, it took months just to go through the database and merge every variation of all the songs U2 has performed in concert. Ugh.

2.) Missing snippets. Since U2tours.com launched, we didn't have the room in our database to list many snippets, if any at all. In fact, we had to fit the setlist of every U2 concert into two text fields that were limited to 254 characters each. (We had a third field to list the encore songs.) Here's what it looked like:

With those limitations in place, we had to pick and choose which snippets to include as part of the setlist -- especially on nights when Bono was particularly generous in singing other people's songs. Or when the songs and snippets had really long titles (like "Love And Peace Or Else" with "Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "The Hands That Built America"). Sometimes, we listed a few snippets in the "Comments" section of the database since we didn't have space in the setlist. If the snippet was particularly short, like Bono just singing the name of some other song, we'd either skip it altogether or list it in the Comments area. But when we did that, those snippets weren't searchable as part of the official record of a concert.

It was a mess.

As you might imagine, fixing this was a huge priority when developing the new site. We've been working for months on improving the data, and the new site is infinitely better than U2tours.com. But we still need some help to make the final push....

New Site: Now Hiring/Help Wanted

On the new @U2 Tours, data entry is more consistent -- all songs are listed correctly with consistent/universal titles. We're also able to list any and every snippet that Bono has ever sung.

The problem is that we don't have all of this data in our system now. This is one area where we need your help. If you enjoy listening to U2 concert bootlegs, we'd love your help in making sure our setlists are complete and accurate. We think there are a couple ways this could go:

  1. If you're just casually listening to a favorite show, or watching a video on YouTube, please compare what you hear to what we list for the show. If you find we're missing something, or have something wrong, send us an email (webmaster@atu2.com) with the details.
  2. If you're really into U2's live shows and setlists, and want to commit to helping the Tours team with setlists on an ongoing basis, we're open to that, too. Send an email to let us know about your interest (webmaster@atu2.com). This would be a formal position on the @U2 staff.

There are other ways to help during this beta period listed on our How To Help page, but PLEASE READ the @U2 Tours Guide FIRST. Thanks!