Dan Fouliard sure hopes so. He’s been working to bring the band here since last year as part of a larger movement for social change.
While looking at Ireland as a possible home for himself in the future, Fouliard decided to bring the spirit of the Emerald Isle to Milwaukee.
“There are 40,000 people (in the Milwaukee area) claiming Irish heritage,” Fouliard says. “And I wanted to turn Miller Park into the world’s biggest Irish pub for a night.”
The solution? Ireland’s own U2. The concert would hopefully take place on St. Patrick’s Day in 2007. But anyone who thinks this is an effort to get 42,000 people to drunkenly sing out the words to “Where The Streets Have No Name” in unison is mistaken.
Fouliard envisions this as only the first in what could become an annual series of what he calls “The People’s Concert” that would raise awareness of global issues and generate money to charity.
Despite running into problems with both U2’s booking agents and Miller Park, Fouliard is determined. He has set up an online petition at voiceofamillionpetition.com, and hopes to get one million signatures.
Media attention has been slow so far, so Fouliard is making his own noise. On Wednesday, June 21 the Voice of a Million movement moves on, with the hope of breaking the world’s record for the largest human sign and getting the word out about the possible concert.
After a pre-party at Red Dot featuring free Lakefront Beer, Fouliard hopes to draw around 2,000 to Bradford Beach to spell out the name of the Web site. There will also be free subs from Erbert & Gerbert’s to feed the (hoped) mass of people. Then there’s an after-party at The Rave featuring local band Marashino.
Fouliard is hoping that the attempt at the world’s largest human sign draws the publicity needed to gain the one million signatures that will hopefully make U2 notice.
“I don’t know if anyone has done this,” he says.
Indeed, the odds are against Fouliard. Miller Park has expressed concern about damage to the field that could come with holding a concert so close to the start of baseball season. He’s also been told by the band’s booking agent that U2 won’t do any concerts when they’re not officially touring. But Fouliard hopes that his grass-roots efforts will inspire others.
He’s been working hard to bring his vision of a concert largely organized by ordinary people to Milwaukee. While it’s been an uphill battle for Fouliard, he’s not afraid of failing.
“The big risk isn’t failing. Not having tried is much worse,” he says.
The pre-party starts at 4 p.m., while the sign itself will start around 6 p.m. The Web site is voiceofamillionpetition.com, or you could just stop by Bradford Beach around 6 p.m. June 21 to see what the fuss is about.
Tyler Casey was born and raised in the Twin Cities, but hes lived in Milwaukee for the last four years working and going to school. A senior at UWM with one semester left before he gets his print journalism degree, Tylers grown incredibly fond of his new city and hopes to stay here for good. Hes been with OnMilwaukee.com since June 2006.
Despite retaining certain customs of his fatherland (Tyler bleeds purple and gold), he considers Milwaukee his home. Spending most of his time on the East Side, Riverwest and Downtown (as well as wherever the nearest bus line can take him), Tylers always looking to experience what the city has to offer.