Calling Musicians: Let Us In The Sound!

Heartland: U2’s Looking For American Soul
An International Virtual U2 Conference For Scholars And Fans
October 18–24, 2020

The U2 Conference, to be held virtually from October 18-24, 2020, invites musical performances from fans, students and scholars as part of its week-long exploration of U2’s experience of, and impact on, America.

U2’s love for America’s varied musical forms has shaped the band’s aesthetic as much as its deep interests in activism, protest and American politics. U2’s response to America is a major part of its sound, and its sound has become a major part of America. 

We anticipate many U2 fans, students and scholars have created their own musical performances in response to U2 and its interest in America, and we would like to incorporate your music during our week of conference programming. We welcome pre-recorded performances in any style or genre of a maximum length of 10 minutes (shorter works are also welcome). Musicians may submit up to three separate recordings with the possibility of all three being accepted for the program.

Possible performances might include, but are not limited to: 

  • Original music implicitly or explicitly acknowledging a U2 influence in response to historical and/or current events in America 
  • Experimental performances implicitly or explicitly acknowledging a U2 influence in response to historical and/or current events in America 
  • Original music inspired by U2 fandom as a form of American activism 
  • Music inspired by and/or highlighting equality, social justice and humanitarian relief campaigns historically championed by U2
  • Music speaking directly to institutional racism and flaring racial tensions in the US
  • Music speaking directly to the protracted Covid-19 pandemic 
  • Music addressing the intersectionality of multiple current crises
  • Music sampling U2 across a variety of genres (for example, hip-hop and/or gospel music)
  • U2 covers, particularly covers with prominent American sounds, lyrics and/or themes

Because the U2 Conference is a virtual event this year, performances will be streamed to conference participants through an online conference platform. More details will be provided to performers selected for the conference program. Performers will need to use their own performance space and equipment, and supply a finished audio or video recording.

Submissions may be a completed recording or sample/draft recording sent by the deadline of Sept. 15, with the expectation of producing a finished recording by Oct. 1 if selected for the program. All submissions should include:

  • the name of the composer(s)
  • the name of the performer(s)
  • the title of the work
  • any relevant program notes
  • a short statement of the relevance of the work to the U2 Conference 2020 theme
  • the duration of the performance
  • the audio or video file of the performance attached or, for large files, sent as a Google drive or Dropbox link

The deadline for music submissions is September 15, 2020. Submissions should be sent to

Decisions by the conference committee will be made on a rolling basis as proposals come in, with all decisions on music submissions made by September 20. Final recordings of selected performances will be due by Oct. 1. All performers will be asked to register for the conference but will receive a discount on the modest registration fee. Please note performers will not be compensated by the U2 Conference, but will have the opportunity to promote their music and platform in their performance and in other spaces as part of the online conference program. Please send all questions about proposals to

The U2 Conference logo and branding images by Beth Nabi.