26 Years Ago: Pink Floyd Show Takes Down Venice’s Government

26 Years Ago: Pink Floyd Show Takes Down Venice’s Government

Leave it to Pink Floyd to cause an entire city council to resign. And that is exactly what happened 26 years ago in Venice, Italy on July 15, 1989.

When the city arranged a free concert to take place in Venice’s historic Piazza San Marco, their intent was merely to “open [Venice] to new trends, including rock music.” But what they got instead were a bunch of angry residents.

”Historic centers should not be used for performances that are incompatible with their historic nature,” former Venice commissioner for tourism Augusto Salvadori told The New York Times.

The protest against the show stemmed from residents believing that vibrations from the music would cause potential harm to the ancient monuments. As a result, Pink Floyd agreed to lower the volume of their performance from 100 decibels to 60, and to preforn 200 yards from the square on a floating barge.

As 200,000 fans gathered in city with a population of 60,00 residents, problems immediately began. It was reported that there was damage caused by the remnants of 300 tons of garbage and 500 cubic meters of empty cans and bottles.

The outrage of the Venetians resulted in a public meeting two days later causing the Mayor Antonio Casellati and the rest of the council to resign.

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