(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
Depeche Mode sold over 350,000 tickets for its Winter 2006 European Tour in little over a week—seven months before the first show commences. Despite a nearly five-year absence from touring, promoters in all overseas markets are reporting vigorous ticket sales with sell-outs coming sooner than expected. Tickets for 14 arena shows in Germany were completely gone after the opening weekend, leading to the addition of second shows in Hamburg and Munich as well as a second show at the 50,000 capacity Düsseldorf LTU Arena. Traditionally slow markets—such as Spain—also caught fire, with Barcelona’s 18,000 capacity Palau St Jordi and Madrid’s new 16,000 capacity Palacio Deportes selling out in a single day, triggering second shows to be added in each city.
“We expected shows to sell well," says Jonathan Kessler, the band's manager, "but the demand for tickets for this tour has been astonishing. The band last toured in 2001 to support the Exciter album, and to see them come back so strong underlines that Depeche Mode’s popularity has not diminished, but in fact has become stronger than ever. This is months before the release of the first single in August and the album in October.”
The band’s 55 European dates span a host of countries including Germany, England, Switzerland, Poland, France and Italy. The tour starts in Dresden on January 13, finishing with the opening shows of the new Wembley Arena on April 2-3. The band last toured in 2001 playing an 85 shows to nearly two million people.
Depeche Mode's upcoming six-week, 25-date U.S. trek kicks off in late October. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner