Tour line-up:

Mark Knopfler

Guitar, vocals
John Illsley

Bass, vocals

Guy Fletcher

Keyboards , vocals

Alan Clark

Keyboards / piano

Jack Sonni

Guitars, vocals

Terry Williams


Chris White



After recording the Brothers in arms album in Montserrat, Dire Straits rehearsed between 5th and 13th April 1985 in Dubrovnik and between 14th and 26th April in Split. The first real concert of the immense world tour was on the 25th April in Split, former Yugoslavia. Again some changes in the tour line-up: Hal Lindes was replaced by Jack Sonni and Mel Collins was replaced by Chris White. Tommy Mandel left and Guy Fletcher joined the band. Click here to see a nice official photo of the band, taken in Montserrat. Several guest players appeared during the tour: Eric Clapton, Paul Young, Hank B. Marvin, J.J. Cale, Sting, Billy Joel, David Sandborn, Branford Marsalis, Paul Brady, Dave Edmunds, Nils Lofgren, Francis Rossi, T-Bone Burnett and Pete Townshend. I also heard Roy Bittan was a special guest on the final show in the USA, East Rutherford, 13th October 1985.

Click here, here and here for some cool pictures of building the stage for the shows in Birmingham in June 1985. And here for a nice picture of John and Mark near the end of the tour in Wellington, New Zealand, 4th March 1986.

On 4th July 1985, Dire Straits performed at the Prince's Trust Rock Gala and donated all their royalties from that evening to the trust. For this show, a separate programme was made, which can be found in the tourbooks section. The band also met Prince Charles and Princess Diana that evening. Click here for another nice picture of Mark and Diana.

During this tour, they also made an appearance on the famous Live Aid 1985 show (13th July), playing two songs (Money for nothing featuring Sting and Sultans of swing) in the afternoon at Wembley Stadium, and returning to Wembley Arena that same evening for another concert of their own tour. Over one billion people watched the Live Aid show!

On 14th September 1985, Mark Knopfler came to the Sweetwater Cafe, San Francisco to see J.J. Cale perform. Mark was invited to play on stage as a special guest. There are just a few colour pictures of this very rare guest performance. J.J. Cale always dated his autographs, it says 1988 on it but that is most likely the date when it was signed. And there is another rare picture of J.J. Cale and Mark Knopfler together with a hand written note on the back of the picture. Sadly, J.J. Cale passed away on 26th July 2013.

On 4th April 1986, a sell out outdoor concert in Cairns was performed despite a torrential rain storm throughout the entire evening. The rain came pouring down which soaked the stage, the equipment and the instruments. Mark Knopfler sang an impromptu "Singing in the rain". See a picture here and some communication of it on the forum of Guy Fletcher. The picture was used across the Cairns Post broadsheet front page and also in Rolling Stone magazine. Copyright by Brian Cassey.

Since there was so much demand for tickets and the tour had to come to an end, Dire Straits gave their permission to broadcast their final show from the tour (Sydney, 26th April 1986) live on national television in both Australia and New Zealand. That night, Dire Straits donated 50.000 Dollars to the anti-drug campaign in Australia. It was a great last show, including the 12.000 strong audience singing Waltzing Mathilda for the band and the following speech from Mark Knopfler in which he thanks the band, road crew, the local promotor, Dire Straits' management and the people from Australia and New Zealand.

Originally, Japan was one of the countries that the band planned to visit early 1986, the country was also listed on the tour bus the band used. See here also for a colour picture. And see here and here for two pictures of the tour bus arriving with the Abel Tasman ferry most likely from Tasmania to the port of Melbourne, Australia, February 1986. But the D.S.I.S. newsletter from May 1987 made it clear that Japan was not visited after all. In April 2013, Guy Fletcher also confirmed on his forum that Dire Straits did not visit Japan in 1986. The tour was sponsored by Philips and was the big worldwide introduction to the new digital format for music: the Compact Disc. Not much later, Brothers in arms was the first record to sell a million copies on CD format. The tour, also referred to as Live in 85/6 took the band all around the globe and they visited 117 cities in 23 countries. All shows were sold out and Dire Straits played to more than 2,5 million people alltogether (source: D.S.I.S. newsletter from May 1986). The D.S.I.S. newsletter from February 1993 revealed that Dire Straits played 231 shows on the Brothers in arms tour. In an interview with Guy Fletcher in 1986, Guy said they played 235 shows on this tour. My overview lists 237 shows, so if anyone knows where I made some mistakes, I would be happy to hear it.


Advertisement poster for the tour: 


Official recordings made during this tour

Concert Bootleg release Official release
Cleveland (05.08.1985)
San Antonio (16.08.1985)
Houston (17.08.1985)

Concert Bootleg release Official release
London (10.07.1985)
London (13.07.1985)
Sydney (26.04.1986)


Total concerts played: 237

April 1985

  25.04.1985     Sportski Centar Gripe Split Yugoslavia
  30.04.1985     Sultanpool Jerusalem Israel


  01.05.1985     Hayarkon Park Tel Aviv Israel
Hayarkon Park Tel Aviv Israel
  06.05.1985     Sportspalace Athens Greece
  07.05.1985     Sportspalace Athens Greece
  08.05.1985     Golden Rose Festival Montreux Switserland
  09.05.1985     Golden Rose Festival Montreux Switserland
  10.05.1985     Pioneer Belgrade Yugoslavia
  11.05.1985     Pioneer Belgrade Yugoslavia
  12.05.1985     Dom Sportova Zagreb Croatia
  13.05.1985     Tivoli Ljubljana Slovenia
  14.05.1985     Eishalle Graz Austria
  15.05.1985     Stadthalle Vienna Austria
  16.05.1985     Sportshall Budapest Hungary
  17.05.1985     Sportshall Budapest Hungary
  18.05.1985     Sportshall Budapest Hungary
  19.05.1985     Sportshall Budapest Hungary
  22.05.1985     P.O.C. Eindhoven The Netherlands
  23.05.1985     Rijnhal Arnhem The Netherlands
  24.05.1985     Jaap Edenhal Amsterdam The Netherlands
  25.05.1985     Ahoy Rotterdam The Netherlands
  26.05.1985     Limburghal Gent Belgium
  27.05.1985     Forest National Brussels Belgium
  28.05.1985     Palais des Sports Caen France
  29.05.1985     Parc de Panfeld Brest France
  30.05.1985     La Beaujoire Nantes France
  31.05.1985     Patinoire Bordeaux France


  01.06.1985     Plaza de Toros Vista Alegre Bilbao Spain
  03.06.1985     Estadio Roman Valero Madrid Spain
  05.06.1985     Municipal Velodrome Barcelona Spain
  06.06.1985     Municipal Velodrome Barcelona Spain
  07.06.1985     Palais des Sports Toulouse France
  08.06.1985     Palais des Sports Toulouse France
  10.06.1985     Stade Louis II Monaco Monaco
  11.06.1985     Theatre Antique Orange France
  12.06.1985     Palais des Sports Grenoble France
  13.06.1985     Patinoire Geneva Switserland
  14.06.1985     Patinoire Geneva Switserland
  15.06.1985     Patinoire Geneva Switserland
  16.06.1985     Hallenstadion Zürich Switserland
  17.06.1985     Hallenstadion Zürich Switserland
  18.06.1985     St. Jakob Sporthalle Basel Switserland
  19.06.1985     St. Jakob Sporthalle Basel Switserland
  20.06.1985     Palais des Sports Dijon France
  21.06.1985     Patinoire de Kockelscheuer Luxembourg Luxembourg
  22.06.1985     Brielpoort Deinze Belgium
  23.06.1985     Palais Omnisports de Bercy Paris France
  24.06.1985     Palais Omnisports de Bercy Paris France
  25.06.1985     Palais Omnisports de Bercy Paris France
  28.06.1985     National Exhibition Center Birmingham UK
  29.06.1985     National Exhibition Center Birmingham UK
  30.06.1985     National Exhibition Center Birmingham UK


  01.07.1985     National Exhibition Center Birmingham UK
  02.07.1985     Conference Centre Brighton UK
  03.07.1985     Conference Centre Brighton UK
  04.07.1985     Prince's Trust Rock Gala, Wembley Arena London UK
  05.07.1985     Wembley Arena London UK
  06.07.1985     Wembley Arena London UK
  07.07.1985     Wembley Arena London UK
  08.07.1985     Wembley Arena London UK
  09.07.1985     Wembley Arena London UK
  10.07.1985     Wembley Arena London UK
  11.07.1985     Wembley Arena London UK
  12.07.1985     Wembley Arena London UK
  13.07.1985     Wembley Arena London UK
  13.07.1985     Live Aid, Wembley Stadium London UK
  14.07.1985     Wembley Arena London UK
  15.07.1985     Wembley Arena London UK
  16.07.1985     Wembley Arena London UK
  23.07.1985     Forum Montreal Canada
  24.07.1985     Civic Centre Ottawa Canada
  25.07.1985     Civic Centre Ottawa Canada
  26.07.1985     Varsity Arena Toronto Canada
  27.07.1985     Varsity Arena Toronto Canada
  28.07.1985     Varsity Arena Toronto Canada
  29.07.1985     Varsity Arena Toronto Canada


  01.08.1985     Roy Wilkens Auditorium St. Paul USA
  02.08.1985     Mecca Auditorium Milwaukee USA
  03.08.1985     Poplar Creek Chicago USA
  04.08.1985     Pine Knob Detroit USA
  05.08.1985     Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls USA
  06.08.1985     Syria Mosque Pittsburgh USA
  07.08.1985     Mann Music Center Philadephia USA
  08.08.1985     Merriweather Post Pavilion Washington USA
  10.08.1985     Fox Theatre Atlanta USA
  11.08.1985     Tennessee Performing Arts Center Nashville USA
  13.08.1985     Zoo Amphitheatre Oklahoma City USA
  14.08.1985     Reunion Arena Dallas USA
  15.08.1985     Coliseum Austin USA
  16.08.1985     Municipal Auditorium San Antonio USA
  17.08.1985     Southern Star Amphitheatre Houston USA


  03.09.1985     Red Rocks Amphitheatre Denver USA
  04.09.1985     Red Rocks Amphitheatre Denver USA
  06.09.1985     Activity Centre Tempe USA
  07.09.1985     Open Air Amphitheatre San Diego USA
  08.09.1985     Pacific Amphitheatre Costa Mesa USA
  09.09.1985     The Greek Theatre Los Angeles USA
  10.09.1985     The Greek Theatre Los Angeles USA
  11.09.1985     The Greek Theatre Los Angeles USA
  12.09.1985     County Bowl Santa Barbara USA
  13.09.1985     Concord Pavilion San Francisco USA
  14.09.1985     Concord Pavilion San Francisco USA
  15.09.1985     Cal Expo Amphitheatre Sacramento USA
  17.09.1985     Civic Auditorium Portland USA
  18.09.1985     Civic Auditorium Portland USA
  19.09.1985     Center Arena Seattle USA
  20.09.1985     Center Arena Seattle USA
  21.09.1985     UBC Gym Vancouver Canada
  22.09.1985     Memorial Arena Victoria Canada
  23.09.1985     Pacific Coliseum Vancouver Canada
  24.09.1985     Coliseum Edmonton Canada
  25.09.1985     Saddledome Calgary Canada
  26.09.1985     Coliseum Edmonton Canada
  27.09.1985     Saddledome Calgary Canada


  01.10.1985     Radio City Music Hall New York USA
  02.10.1985     Radio City Music Hall New York USA
  03.10.1985     Radio City Music Hall New York USA 
  04.10.1985     Civic Centre Providence USA
  05.10.1985     Wang Center Boston USA
  06.10.1985     Wang Center Boston USA
  07.10.1985     Cumberland County Civic Center Portland USA
  08.10.1985     Boston Garden Boston USA
  09.10.1985     Civic Center Hartford USA
  10.10.1985     Civic Center Hartford USA
  11.10.1985     Nassau Coliseum Uniondale USA
  12.10.1985     Madison Square Garden New York USA
  13.10.1985     Meadowlands Arena East Rutherford USA
  22.10.1985     Drammenshallen Drammen Norway
  23.10.1985     Drammenshallen Drammen Norway
  24.10.1985     Café Opera Stockhölm Sweden
  25.10.1985     Johanneshov Stockhölm Sweden
  26.10.1985     Johanneshov Stockhölm Sweden
  28.10.1985     Ice Hall Helsinki Finland
  29.10.1985     Ice Hall Helsinki Finland
  31.10.1985     Broendbyhalle Copenhagen Denmark


  01.11.1985     Broendbyhalle Copenhagen Denmark
  02.11.1985     Alsterdorfer Sporthalle Hamburg Germany
  03.11.1985     Martinhal Groningen The Netherlands
  04.11.1985     Eilenreidhalle Hannover Germany
  05.11.1985     Deutschlandhalle Berlin Germany
  07.11.1985     Stadthalle Vienna Austria
  08.11.1985     Rudi-Sedlmayer-Halle Munich Germany
  09.11.1985     Eishalle Wels Austria
  10.11.1985     Eishalle Graz Austria
  11.11.1985     Sporthalle Linz Austria
  12.11.1985     Olympic Hall Innsbruck Austria
  14.11.1985     Parc des Expositions Lyon France
  15.11.1985     Maison des Sports Clermont-Ferrand France
  18.11.1985     Frankenhalle Nürnberg Germany
  19.11.1985     Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle Stuttgart Germany
  20.11.1985     Festhalle Frankfurt Germany
  21.11.1985     Sporthalle Cologne Germany
  22.11.1985     Grugahalle Essen Germany
  23.11.1985     Groenoordhal Leiden The Netherlands
  24.11.1985     Groenoordhal Leiden The Netherlands
  25.11.1985     Forest National Brussels Belgium
  27.11.1985     Palais Omnisports de Bercy Paris France
  28.11.1985     Palais Omnisports de Bercy Paris France 
  29.11.1985     Palais Omnisports de Bercy Paris France
  30.11.1985     Palais Omnisports de Bercy Paris France


  03.12.1985     City Hall Newcastle UK
  04.12.1985     City Hall Newcastle UK
  05.12.1985     City Hall Newcastle UK
  06.12.1985     City Hall Newcastle UK
  07.12.1985     Apollo Manchester UK
  08.12.1985     Apollo Manchester UK
  09.12.1985     Apollo Manchester UK
  10.12.1985     Apollo Manchester UK
  11.12.1985     Leisure Centre Deeside UK
  12.12.1985     Leisure Centre Deeside UK
  13.12.1985     Showering Pavilion Shepton Mallet UK
  14.12.1985     Showering Pavilion Shepton Mallet UK
  15.12.1985     National Exhibition Centre Birmingham UK
  16.12.1985     National Exhibition Centre Birmingham UK
  17.12.1985     Hammersmith Odeon London UK
  18.12.1985     Hammersmith Odeon London UK
  19.12.1985     Hammersmith Odeon London UK
  20.12.1985     Hammersmith Odeon London UK
  21.12.1985     Hammersmith Odeon London UK
  22.12.1985     Hammersmith Odeon London UK
  23.12.1985     Hammersmith Odeon London UK
  29.12.1985     Playhouse Edinburgh Scotland
  30.12.1985     Playhouse Edinburgh Scotland
  31.12.1985     Playhouse Edinburgh Scotland

February 1986

  06.02.1986     King George V Oval Hobart Tasmania
  07.02.1986     King George V Oval Hobart Tasmania
  12.02.1986     Westlake Stadium Adelaide Australia
  14.02.1986     Sports And Entertainment Centre Melbourne Australia
  15.02.1986     Sports And Entertainment Centre Melbourne Australia
  16.02.1986     Sports And Entertainment Centre Melbourne Australia
  17.02.1986     Sports And Entertainment Centre Melbourne Australia
  18.02.1986     Sports And Entertainment Centre Melbourne Australia
  19.02.1986     Sports And Entertainment Centre Melbourne Australia
  20.02.1986     Sports And Entertainment Centre Melbourne Australia
  21.02.1986     Sports And Entertainment Centre Melbourne Australia
  22.02.1986     Sports And Entertainment Centre Melbourne Australia
  23.02.1986     Sports And Entertainment Centre Melbourne Australia
  24.02.1986     Myer Music Bowl Melbourne Australia
  25.02.1986     Myer Music Bowl Melbourne Australia
  26.02.1986     Myer Music Bowl Melbourne Australia

March 1986

  01.03.1986     Mount Smart Stadium Auckland New Zealand
  02.03.1986     Mount Smart Stadium Auckland New Zealand
  04.03.1986     Athletic Park Wellington New Zealand
  07.03.1986     Lancaster Park Christchurch New Zealand
  10.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  11.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  12.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  13.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  14.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  15.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  16.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  17.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  18.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  19.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  20.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  21.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  22.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  23.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  24.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  25.03.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  27.03.1986     QE2 Park Brisbane Australia
  29.03.1986     Rugby Park Rockhampton Australia
  31.03.1986     Showgrounds Mackay Australia

April 1986

  02.04.1986     Showgrounds Townsville Australia
  04.04.1986     Showgrounds Cairns Australia
  08.04.1986     Showgrounds Darwin Australia
  13.04.1986     Entertainment Centre Perth Australia
  14.04.1986     Entertainment Centre Perth Australia
  15.04.1986     Entertainment Centre Perth Australia
  16.04.1986     Entertainment Centre Perth Australia
  17.04.1986     Entertainment Centre Perth Australia
  18.04.1986     Entertainment Centre Perth Australia
  19.04.1986     Entertainment Centre Perth Australia
  23.04.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  24.04.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  25.04.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  26.04.1986     Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia


▲ Back to index