The Zoo TV Tour (also called ZooTV, ZOO TV or ZOOTV) was an elaborately-staged, multimedia concert tour by Irish rock band U2 that took place in arenas and stadiums over 1992 and 1993. It was a show that operated on many levels; designed to instil a feeling of "sensory overload" in its audience, it used the video age for much of its inspiration.
In 2002, Q magazine called it "still the most spectacular rock tour staged by any band."
Different phases of the tour were also known as Zoo TV – The Outside Broadcast, Zooropa, and Zoomerang. The tour began in Lakeland, Florida on February 29, 1992 and ended in Tokyo, Japan on December 10, 1993. It comprised five legs, 157 shows, was seen by 5.4 million people, and was the highest-grossing tour in North America of 1992.
If U2's 1991 album Achtung Baby was, as lead singer Bono said, "the sound of four men chopping down The Joshua Tree", then the Zoo TV Tour marked a shift from the band's previously achingly earnest stage performances that had typified their previous tours in the 1980s.
Differing from all previous and subsequent U2 tours, the Zoo TV shows opened with six to eight consecutive new songs before playing any older material. The songs were complemented by a myriad of bewildering visual effects.
The stage was designed by frequent U2 collaborator Willie Williams who worked with the stage designers Mark Fisher and Jonathan Park (designers of the Rolling Stones "Steel Wheels" stage set).
The design featured vidi walls, 36 video monitors, numerous television cameras, two separate mix positions, 26 on stage microphones, 176 speakers, and eleven elaborately painted Trabants, several of which were suspended over the stage with spotlights inserted into headlights.
A total of 52 trucks were required to transport the 1,200 tons of equipment, three miles of cabling, two-hundred labourers, twelve forklifts and one 40-ton crane, required to construct the stage.