Pink Floyd Concert In Venice, 1989
Rock music, from the time of its birth, has been taken as a key revolutionary aspect and also a driving force to social development. Despite this, Pink Floyd’s concert that took place in Venice, Italy on July the 15th 1989, unexpectedly resulted to the resigning of the city’s mayor and city council officials. Their performance was legendary.
The Washington post, reported that the city had made plans for a free show that was to take place in the historic Piazza San Macro (St. Mark’s Square) in Venice. The concert was to be aired on television in more than twelve countries. The Los Angeles times, reported that the council were justifying the show and saying that Venice city must be open and at per with the new trends including Rock music!
Shockingly, even before a beat was played, the residents were all up in hands protesting. They claimed that the vibrations from the music instruments posed danger, and were likely to harm the ancient monuments. This claim caused a reason for worry. The Venice clock tower had been erected earlier but construction was completed in 1499.Construction work on the bell tower at the St. Mark Basilica had begun in the 9th century.
Augusto Salvadori, a former tourism commissioner in Venice told The New York Times that it was inappropriate to use historic centers for concerts that were incompatible with their historic heritage. And that if the city wanted rock music, they should do it in the football stadiums but never in the Piazza San Marco.
The stadium, Stadio Pierluigi Penzo had the capacity to hold 7,450 people. This was a very small number compared to Pink Floyd’s audience at the time. The band agreed to perform at the concert out of sympathy for the city. They had to lower the volume from one hundred decibels to sixty. They also did their show on a floating barge about 200 yards from the actual square.
The audience that time, which totaled to 200,000 people, had the most damages done. At that time, only 60,000 people lived in the city. The city officials reported to have left behind 300 tons of recklessly dumbed garbage and 500 cubic meters of bottles and cans. And because at that time the city had could not provide bathrooms and toilets (portable), the audience relieved themselves on walls and the monuments.
Although most of the audience were well behaved, there occurred a major damage at the square. There was marble that fell off a number of statues known as “The judge of Solomon.” It was unclear whether the volume or the fans caused it.
The resentment was very fast. A Former Rome mayor that time, Renato Nicoline, told The Washington Post that it was a commercial event promoted on television and the recording industry not a cultural event.
Two days later, Mayor Antonio Casellati took the same defense as Renato in a public meeting. He stated that there was so much pressure from RAI, a state ran television network. He claimed that they had benefited from the concert. His attempts to defend himself were in vain. He was asked to resign by the people of Venice. The pressure was so intense that the entire city council resigned taking Casellati down with them. The Pink Floyd concert in Venice, 1989 was very revolutionary and a turning point.
the morning after
Images: blogvenice, imgur