January 31, 2013

The U2 Conference announces its 2013 program and the opening of registration on February 1, 2013. In collaboration with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, sessions will be held in downtown Cleveland, OH, April 26-27. National Public Radio’s critic for popular music Ann Powers will deliver the keynote address, and is joined on the program by Cleveland radio industry legend John Gorman and Jim Henke, writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 16 years and former vice president and chief curator at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum for 18 years. More speakers are to be announced as the program develops.

The two-day conference features programming for fans, students, and scholars. Eight mainstream sessions are on topics with broad appeal to all fans and nearly 30 presentations are based on the work of academics. Morning sessions are at the Marriott Key Center with general sessions for all attendees in the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater in the afternoons. Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to view U23D during its final weekend screening at the Rock Hall. Additional events during the days and evenings will give attendees a weekend full of learning about and enjoying U2.

“The U2 Conference is for exploring the music, work, and influence of U2,” conference creator and director Scott Calhoun said. Calhoun, a professor of English at Cedarville University (OH), created the U2 Conference and held the first meetings in 2009. “We expect an international crowd again,” Calhoun said, “and with the collaboration of the Rock Hall and the fan site @U2, we have been able to really elevate our programming.”

The mainstream sessions, presented by @U2 emphasize the interest most U2 fans have in knowing more about the band and discussing the ups and downs that come with strong relationships between fan and band.

“Knowing how great the first conference was, it was a no brainer for @U2 to want to be involved again. And even better, we helped shape the program with fan input,” said Matt McGee, founder and editor of @U2. “I’m looking forward to learning how U2 makes its sound so unique, where U2 fits in the modern radio landscape, and what fans think about the work the band does outside of being U2, for example.” The program is still open for fans to sign up to talk about session topics.

“We are happy to welcome the U2 Conference to Cleveland and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum,” said Dr. Lauren Onkey, vice president of Education and Public Programs at the Rock Hall. “Engaging scholars and fans alike dovetails with the museum’s mission of encouraging global celebration and study of rock and roll music. We’re especially excited to showcase the incredible resources at the Rock Hall’s new Library and Archives to conference attendees.”

“U2’s appeal is without borders and spans decades. Everyone is welcome. Whether you come in tweed or leather, do vinyl or download, you’ll connect with people who want to talk about U2 and find new ways to be better fans,” Calhoun promises.