Renewed Division: U2's Free Berlin Concert to Take Place Behind a Wall
Berliners were ecstatic last week upon hearing about U2's plans to play a free concert in the heart of the German capital on Thursday evening. But it turns out that those without tickets will be prevented from seeing the show by a two-meter high barrier -- located close to the original Berlin Wall.
"I have run. I have crawled. I have scaled these city walls.... Only to be with you."
This week, though, the initial joy is diminishing. The event will take place on Pariser Platz, just in front of the Brandenburg Gate and surrounded on three sides by buildings. To prevent those without tickets from seeing the show, the fourth side is to be closed off by a more than two-meter high wall -- just a few dozen meters from where the original Wall once stood.
"It is a big event, one that I am very pleased about. It would be nice if as many Berliners as possible could take part," Frank Henkel, Christian Democrat floor leader in the Berlin city-state parliament, told the daily Berliner Morgenpost. "It would be great if the organizers would avoid barriers of any kind."
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The U2 show is being organized by MTV in parallel with the European Music Awards taking place the same night in Berlin. In addition to ticket holders, those who work in the buildings surrounding Pariser Platz -- and guests of the luxury Adlon Hotel -- will be able to see the Thursday evening show.
Still, Berlin police anticipate that many more than just those with tickets will show up and are prepared to close much of Unter den Linden, the street which runs through the heart of Berlin away from the Brandenburg Gate. But if they were hoping for a glimpse of U2, they will likely be disappointed -- still not having found what they're looking for.
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