Aha! One of the First Ever U.S. U2 Fan Conventions was held here in Chicago in 1996. In fact, there hasn't been a large-scale U2 Convention since that time. This was right before the *POP* album was released. In fact, Island Records even sent down some Promotional Shirts and Posters Advertising the NEW and Untitled album that time which was promised in Fall of '96. If any of you remember the slogan Island was promoting was called "EXPECT NOTHING BUT THE BEST--U2 1996". Yeah, the album was delayed too! Anyway, All Conventions that I've heard of during my 15 years of U2 fanaticism have taken place in Holland, Belgium, Germany, and England if I"m not mistaken. Many of those conventions also took place during the Joshua Tree Era and R&H Era as well. Anyway, the U2 Convention that I attended was fabulous. It was held in a small convention space at a Holiday Inn Hotel and had a big turn-out from fans all over the Mid-West and in the East and West Coasts of the U.S. as well. It was a buying and selling of OFFICIAL U2 RELEASES ONLY. Actually, one guy that i bought stuff from was a bootlegger and he was banished from the 'main floor' of the convention space. He was a BOOTLEGGER AND A SCUM OF THE EARTH according to the organizers! I didn't care. I got stuff from him. Still, it was a fun time! Cover-bands, fan clubs, rare, I mean RARE memorablia on display worth $$$$ for all of you OFFICIAL U2 Collectors out there which includes ME! I was just a freshman in undergrad. when this took place. Proceeds and funds raised for this even went to the Chicago Peace Museum, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and local charities. The next Convention was scheduled/rumored to take place in Los Angeles back in 1998 but never materialized or took off. The Convention was NOT as big as BEATLEFEST(which takes place annually here in Chicago), but it can get bigger with more fan support and demand I'm sure! I am for certain that there's definitely going to be another U2 Convention soon.
Some scans of my old Convention program(more like a flyer/leaflet than anything). I found this when I was cleaning out my desk today! It's so old it was turning yellow alright.
Cover of U2 Convention Programme
Inside Page Schedule of Events. I won the 3rd Door Prize at 3:30pm! A shirt!
The photocopied original Bono-handwritten lyrics of "New Year's Day" & "Sunday Bloody Sunday". Look at all the scratch-outs Bono did! This was actually in a glass display on loan from the CHICAGO PEACE MUSEUM where it has been donated and on public display even today along with the original handwritten lyrics for John Lennon's "IMAGINE". I'm glad the convention people were allowed to photocopy this. It's in original loose-leaf paper behind a glass case in the Chicago Peace Museum and at the actual Convention.
Some of the Organizers and Contributors to the Convention. Note: Brian Streeter(Milwaukee), Dennis Crow(California), and Rajiv Udani(Chicago), organized the whole event and have probably the largest U2 Official Merchandise Collection in the U.S. and maybe the World. I bought stuff from Brian before and Dennis. Well, Rajiv...you gotta have a lot of cash for that guy's rare shiet!
Again, I recently talked to Brian Streeter and he says that he's starting a comittee to organize something within the next year 2002 spring/summer. Hopefully it will be out in the East Coast or Midwest(Boston, NYC, and possibly also another stop in Chicago again). I plan to take part in this as I promised him on some level. It was too hectic if he did this around the Elevation Tour 2001 according to him. He plans to keep me informed on the details.