Outrage Over Wall Blocking Free U2 Berlin Concert

Photo by Lyle A. Waisman/Getty Images
Bono, Larry Mullen, Jr. and Adam Clayton perform during the U2 360 North American tour opener at Soldier Field on September 12, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois.

Fans hoping to catch a glimpse Thursday of U2's free concert celebrating 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall will have to "scale these city walls" after organizers threw up a barrier to block the view for those without tickets.

The move has triggered outrage from Berliners and tourists alike, all of whom see the irony in building wall around a concert dedicated to the wall that has come down.

"It's completely ridiculous that they are blocking the view," said Louis-Pierre Boily, 23, who said he came to Berlin even though he failed to get tickets.

"I thought it's a free show, but MTV probably wants people to watch it on TV to get their ratings up," said Boily, a native of Quebec City who was among several hundred people who gathered Thursday against the roughly 12-foot (2-meter) metal fence, draped with a white tarp that blocked off the view of the stage from the street.

Music network MTV, which organized Thursday's concert in front of the Brandenburg Gate, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
U2's publicist RMP also refused comment.

Some 10,000 tickets were made available online for the Irish rockers' free show - and they were snapped up in just three hours.

The Berlin Wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989, ending almost 30 years of Cold War division between the communist East and the democratic West.

Throughout those decades, the Brandenburg Gate stood just inside of then-East Berlin. In 1988, musicians such as Pink Floyd and Michael Jackson performed in a three-day "Berlin Rock Marathon" on the western side of the concrete barrier, with the landmark as a backdrop.

Concertgoers in the West hurled bottles and firebombs at the wall, while some 2,000 youths gathered on the eastern side to listen, many shouting "The wall must go."

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