"and you can dream... so dream out loud"
I’ve been a U2 fan since first seeing Gloria on cable TV in 1981. The sound I heard felt like hope. The more I listened, the more I knew I found something that made sense out of the world. My first U2 concert was in May 1987 on The Joshua Tree Tour at The Meadowlands in New Jersey. Since that time, I have seen the band at least twice on every tour. For me, U2 is the sound of hope.
In 2001, at the Anaheim stop on The Elevation Tour, it was the first time I had a GA ticket… I could not believe I was on the floor. I spoke with some young fans, who were actually seeing the band for the very first time. They could not wait to hear Beautiful Day. They had never heard Pride, Bad, Streets… they just could not wait to hear Beautiful Day. And they were excited. Just as excited as I was to finally be on the floor for a U2 show. They were at the very beginning of their U2 journey, and I was in the middle of mine. It struck me there was a story here. I knew I wanted to make a film about it, because that’s what I do. I am a filmmaker. Over the years and tours, the idea continued to mature and became “Dream Out Loud.”
Now nearing 50, I still hear hope in every song, and I am still Dreaming Out Loud.
Aardvark Girl LLC
My U2 journey started before I can even remember, as they have literally been there the whole time I’ve been alive. My mom played their music when I was a kid, and my brother and I became fans very early on. I have a very distinct memory of watching “Rattle & Hum” with them when it premiered on HBO, and the 3 of us went to our first U2 concert together when I was 11 (during the Zoo TV tour). That’s when I fell in love with live music, and going to U2 shows became a bit of a family tradition. Although I’ve seen many other bands in concert, no one else has given me the same exhilaration as U2. I’m typically not an emotional person, but listening to their music always makes me feel something indescribable. Even 30+ shows later, it never fails. I am proud to be part of this fan community, surrounded by people who understand, and share what that feeling is about.
I managed video production companies and produced a variety of projects for more than a decade before starting my own company, Aardvark Girl, in 2015. I have continued my role as producer for various clients, while also offering project management and consulting services to creative businesses and people. As the producer for “Dream Out Loud” I handled the logistics – scheduling, travel and coordination with the various people and places involved in the film (nearly 200 people in 25 cities across the US, Canada, Europe, and the UK). It was my responsibility to take care of all the details behind the scenes, so Dave could focus on telling the stories in the way they deserved to be told. Dave and I have worked together for more than a decade, but we became friends when we realized we were both U2 fans, and had probably been to at least 10 of the same shows but didn’t know each other at the time. When he decided to finally make “Dream Out Loud,” a reality, I was happy he asked me to come on board. I’m pretty sure he know I wouldn’t let him do it without me anyway!
Founder, The #StrongerThanFearCampain
I’ve been a U2 fan for as long as I can remember. I can vaguely recall hearing “I Still Haven’t Found (What I’m Looking For)” on the radio as a kid, but my first really concrete memory of U2 was when I got my hands on my Dad’s Rattle & Hum album. That just blew me away. I was just a little kid at the time, but I think that album instilled so many things in me--things that I wasn’t otherwise exposed to growing up. It gave me a sense of spirituality when I listened to the gospel choir backing the band on “I Still Haven’t Found”. And it gave me chills listening to Bono speak from the stage and stir the crowd up about MLK Jr. and things like apartheid and social injustices. Suddenly, these subjects that simply didn’t touch the Midwestern bubble that I grew up in, touched me. I had no idea, as a kid, what Bono was talking about, but I knew that I wanted to, and that I wanted to change those things. I like to think that a seed was planted when I listened to that album for the first time and that it’s had a large part in making me the person that I am today. I never gave that album back, by the way. (Sorry Dad!)
Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to really delve into the fan community, and it’s been quite a journey. I could probably write a book about how unique and tight-knit it is, but suffice it to say that they are much more like a family and they are some of the most caring and passionate people you could ever hope to meet. I’ve been able to witness first-hand the way that the fans come together to support one-another or a cause. In 2015, I teamed with another fan to push out the White Out Belfast campaign after the attacks in Paris. We would have never expected things to turn out, or for the fans to rise up, like they did. I still feel overwhelmed thinking about it. And then the slogan (#strongerthanfear) began to circulate organically, and after some prodding from the fans to carry on with the campaign, I took the slogan and redeveloped it into a standalone organization. The #Strongerthanfear Campaign was launched for U2’s 40th anniversary (as a tribute) and we’ve made it possible for fans to respond immediately to situations through partnership with Chicago’s Public Good and their “Take Action” Button. Behind the scenes, #Strongerthanfear has been redeveloped into the social impact hub of the U2 community. I have seen the power that this community possesses to unify and do good, and I wanted to harness that energy to allow it to reach its full potential.
When I found out that a documentary was going to be made about U2 fans, I immediately wanted to be a part of it. I believe very strongly in the U2 community and their heart. That’s why I’m so excited that their story will finally be told.
I started liking U2 when Pride (In the Name of Love) came out as a school kid. My first U2 gig was Joshua Tree at Murrayfield Edinburgh. From that moment I have been to every tour with many highlights like being in the inner heart at the Slane Castle DVD gig. I have been lucky to have met the band on a few occasions. My son, Kenan, gave The Edge his Nottingham Forest scarf.
In 2014 I set up U2 Fans Tour to help real fans to get tickets and we have helped many fans get tickets and help reduce ticket touts. From that day we have supported new bands, U2 tribute bands, and good causes like Stronger Than Fear (#strongerthanfear) to name a few. We have become the place for many fans to get tickets through trading and face value sales with other real fans, and we do it all voluntarily.
We got behind Dream Out Loud due to the fact that we are all getting older and we thought, what a fantastic opportunity to see fan’s stories from around the world when we have so much unrest. To film it during the new Joshua Tree Tour 30 years later, with even more unrest in the world than we had at the time of the original tour, is a fitting way to prove to the world that we can join together as one.