U2 Sarajevo 1997

Table of Contents

Touching U2 concert

After the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the siege of its capital Sarajevo, this was the first big international concert. They even lift the visa requirements if you had a ticket for the U2 concert. U2 included this location into Popmart Tour because bend promised to Bill S. Carter, during ZOO TV Tour in 1993, while war was raging in BiH and they aired interviews from Sarajevo during concerts, that they will organize a concert there even with the negative financial outcome after conflict stops. For me, this was a chance to see my family after 5 years and enjoy a concert by one of my favorite bands. I bought a complete package, a ticket with transport. Sleeping was included but I slept at a friend’s place.

On the 23rd of September 1997, we went on the bus towards Sarajevo. On the bus there were some friends also going to the U2 concert, they were a wild bunch. I went off the bus close to Zenica and hitchhiked to my aunt’s place. There I had the chance to meet family after a long time. Later I moved to Sarajevo with a cousin in old Zastava 101. On arrival, we searched for a spot to park the car. While walking towards the venue crowd was getting bigger.

Entering the Koševo stadium was a special experience. I have never attended an event of this size, 45.000 visitors. The whole show with stage, lemon, screen, the big arc with speakers was memorable. The performance was great. A special song was written for the city, Miss Sarajevo and it was in a way the peak of the concert. Brian Eno joined in. At one moment Bono‘s voice broke. Later he said it was too emotional for him. In a way, this concert was a catharsis for Sarajevo. It meant life is returning back to normal after the war.


Some people we knew were there. Also, I found a guide from my bus but he was spaced out and wasn’t able to tell me where they are going to pick me next day. After the show with a cousin we returned to take a photo, roadies disassembled stage probably in half an hour. We went to bed after midnight.

The next morning, after breakfast at a friend’s place, we went out to search where is the bus for the ride back home. We tried a few places and finally found it. I said goodbye to Kenan and we were on our way. During the day one could see scares of war left on the cities buildings. Also, the stadium was a morgue in wartime, and the side court for practice was changed into the cemetery. With all emotions from a concert, family, war stories I got a bit melancholic. On arrival to Travnik, one hill was covered with tombstones. That was enough to go and buy a bottle of Stock ’84 and I got drunk …

25 years later conflict in Europe is reality again. U2 decided to make at this time documentary about this concert “Kiss the Future” by Bono’s statement “Fuckt the past, kiss the future”. It was produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, first aired at Berlin bienale 2023.


Pop Musik (Popmart Mix) (M song)
I Will Follow
Even Better Than the Real Thing
Last Night on Earth
Until the End of the World
New Year’s Day
Pride (In the Name of Love)
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (with “Stand By Me” snippet)
All I Want Is You (with “Many Rivers to Cross” snippet)
Staring at the Sun
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet the Blue Sky (with “America (West Side Story)” snippet)
Where the Streets Have No Name
Lemon (Perfecto Mix)
Discotheque (with “Life During Wartime”, “… more )
If You Wear That Velvet Dress
With or Without You
Encore 2:
Miss Sarajevo (Passengers cover) (with Brian Eno)
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
Mysterious Ways (with “Into the Groove” snippet)
One (with “Hear Us Coming” snippet)
Unchained Melody (Les Baxter, His Chorus and Orchestra cover)

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