By Alex Young on November 5th, 2009
U2 plays a free Berlin Wall concert behind the backdrop of a different wall constructed by MTV to prevent those without tickets from watching U2 play a free Berlin Wall concert
Here’s some news you really can’t make up: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Cool, right? Well, MTV apparently thought so, and decided that it would mark the occasion during tonight’s European Music Awards by having U2 perform a free 20-minute concert in front of the Brandenburg Gate, the one remaining piece of the famed Berlin wall. Cool, right?
Ironically, however, only 10,000 tickets were made available (and not surprisingly, were snatched up pretty quick) and those without one will be be prevented from seeing the show by a two-meter high barrier. Talking about living up to the theme of the evening!
A spokesperson for Berlin’s city government told the Irish Times that blocking the view was MTV’s idea.“I find it rather unfortunate and unusual for organisers of a free concert –- particularly one of this nature –- to demand such a barrier,” said a city spokesperson.
MTV’s Nicola Haake countered with the following statement: “We are asking fans without tickets to watch the concert on television… The barrier is for security reasons and to contain the crowd, allowing the surrounding shops and restaurant to continue trading.”
That, said, MTV was unable to say why the concert was being staged on Pariser Platz, on the eastern side of the gate, rather than the Tiergarten park side, where there are no space problems and no businesses to be disturbed.
Bono, well, he hasn’t said anything. He’s probably still all chocked up about No Line On the Horizon’s lack of album sales.
Anyhow, with at least one wall still standing, the Times went on to offer this helpful piece of advice: “Anyone without a ticket for this evening in Berlin has several options: book a room with a view at the Hotel Adlon; seek sanctuary at the French or US embassies; visit the exhibitions at the Academy of the Arts; or talk your way in.”