Irony: U2's 'Free' Concert At The Berlin Wall, Blocked By A Big Wall

from the u2,-tear-down-that-wall dept

Dementia writes in to point out the rather ironic situation of a "free" concert put on by the band U2, at the remains of the Berlin Wall in order to celebrate the demise of the wall... but MTV decided to put up a big temporary barrier around the event so those who didn't have free tickets could not even see the event. Yes, they erected a special "wall" to block out a free concert about The Wall. As Dementia noted with the submission, "you're doing it wrong..."


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 6:15am

    MTV was concerned

    The "wall" was erected by MTV because they were concerned that fans would rush the fence and crush fans near the stage. Their concern may have been unfounded, and there may have been better ways to have controlled fans (though there are reports that MTV consulted with Berlin police prior to putting up the "wall;" there were concerns that 100,000 non-ticket holders might be in attendance, which would indeed present a significant safety issue for those inside and outside the "wall"), but it is what it is.

    Did MTV "do it wrong"? Maybe. With the exception of the fans who came and did not see, and those who wish to make a mountain out of a molehill, U2 fans seemed generally ecstatic. Also, huge screens were erected outside the wall to permit those outside to view the concert, so someone was thinking about those fans too.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 6:18am

    Mr Bono pkease tear down this wall.

    Talk about the wrong message for MTV. There must be ways of controlling crowds that would work without that awful imagery.

     

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    jezsik (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 6:33am

    Most ironic moment of 2009?

    Surely a contender.

    But why a WALL? There must be other forms of crowd control barriers that can keep people from rushing a stage fer Pete's sake!

     

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  4.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 6:34am

    This is what you get...

    ...when a bunch of pretentious old men use a symbol/location of freedom and revolution for publicity's sake. Young folks would have done it right. I don't recall ever hearing about walls or fences being put up around Woodstock...

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 6:44am

    Olbermann reported it just like that...

    Keith Olbermann reported on this early last week. I think U2/MTV made his famous "Worst Person Of The World" list.

    Hilarious. I wonder if McGuinness persuaded MTV to do it.

     

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  6.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 6:45am

    Re: This is what you get...

    Didn't need 'em. Everyone got stuck in the mud.

     

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  7.  
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    Robert Ring (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 7:02am

    Re: Most ironic moment of 2009?

    It's not to keep them from rushing the stage, it's a wall around the whole concert to keep people without tickets from being able to see it.

    Stupidity (the wall -- not you).

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 7:03am

    Re: Olbermann reported it just like that...

    Never knew "Thursday" qualified as "beginning of the week", jackhole.

    http://se.youtube.com/watch?v=CrkV1dGrxxs

     

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  9.  
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    Pwdrskir (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 7:37am

    Wall envy

    I attended the original Wall concert back in 1990 and the crowd was very tame. I had a ticket and was within 75 yds of the front of the stage and there was no rushing and pushing like I’ve experience at concerts in the US. Granted, the crowd without tickets gathered outside the fence eventually pushed the fence down, but there was still no pushing and they just queued up straight back from the stage. It was estimated there were 500,000 people there.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-1990-0722-402,_Berlin,_Auff%C3%BChrung_der _Rockoper_%22The_Wall%22.jpg

    Now, trying to get food at the Zoo station McDonald’s after the concert was quite a different story…

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re: Olbermann reported it just like that...

    Wow. Have a bad weekend? Everyone's a critic.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 7:51am

    Re: This is what you get...

    there were fences, but they were just chain link and were torn down pretty quickly.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 7:54am

    Good job MTV. Don't forget to look up the word "irony". There's no reason to put up a wall. Hell the only thing that could have made this better is to have every wall related song played at the concert.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 8:06am

    Their manager McGuinness is now demanding anyone in the vicinity of the concert now pay $50 a piece. Think of the musicians! McGuinness can't have his band not making that money!

     

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    DS, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 8:54am

    Re: MTV was concerned

    QUICK REACT WITHOUT THINKING!

    Oh wait.

     

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  15.  
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    DS, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 8:55am

    Re: Most ironic moment of 2009?

    Like sharks with lasers?

     

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    DS, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 8:56am

    Re: Olbermann reported it just like that...

    We all know his list is flawed...

    or he'd be on it himself.

     

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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 9:00am

    what do you mean "wrong message from MTV"?

    thats the exact message that companies are trying to send...

    "we own content and we get to decide who sees/listens/uses it and how... not YOU"

    seems right in line with anyone else associated with music television or movies to me...

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 9:28am

    "I don't recall ever hearing about walls or fences being put up around Woodstock..."

    Woodstock was originally for money. It had a fence. The promoters expected 10 to maybe 50K people. Profit was the motive, from tickets food & beverages sales. The fences didn't last long when the huge crowd showed up.

    Chances are U2's fence didn't last either.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 11:29am

    Re: MTV was concerned

    The "wall" was erected by MTV because they were concerned that space aliens would rush the fence and crush fans near the stage. Their concern may have been unfounded, and there may have been better ways to have controlled space aliens, but it is what it is.

    Did MTV "do it wrong"? Maybe. With the exception of the space aliens who came and did not see, and those who wish to make a mountain out of a molehill, U2 fans seemed generally ecstatic. Also, huge screens were erected outside the wall to permit those space aliens outside to view the concert, so someone was thinking about those fans too.

    There. See how easy it is to make up bogus, lame ass, spinmeister excuses?

     

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  20.  
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    JGM, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 11:31am

    Har har. Irony. Of course if a few dozen kids had gotten crushed to death, *none* of the snark-bloggers would have made bitter jokes, because they would have recognized that proper crowd-control would have meant an ironic restriction on "freedom".

    Those of us old enough to remember the days of "festival seating" (another form of "freedom") know better.

     

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  21.  
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    JGM, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 11:32am

    Re: This is what you get...

    I don't recall ever hearing about walls or fences being put up around Woodstock

    You, sir, are woefully underinformed, then.

     

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  22.  
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    Steve, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 11:33am

    Re: This is what you get...

    Umm. Woodstock was surrounded on all sides by fences in 1969 but within a day, huge holes had been opened up in the perimeter making it impossible to stop in influx of people.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 11:35am

    Meet the new boss...

    same as the old boss.

    Funny how corporations sometimes do things the same way as authoritarian governments.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Re:

    Those of us old enough to remember the days of "festival seating" (another form of "freedom") know better.

    Even with festival seating there walls and fences. It wasn't exactly "freedom".

     

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  25.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: This is what you get...

    "Umm. Woodstock was surrounded on all sides by fences in 1969 but within a day, huge holes had been opened up in the perimeter making it impossible to stop in influx of people."

    Yup, lots of others have said that as well, and I would have guessed otherwise based on anectodal stories. But look at what I said: "I don't recall ever HEARING about walls or fences being put up around Woodstock..."

    The point being that even if there were supposed to be fences, Woodstock was successful in some part BECAUSE it ended up being open. That's how those of us too young to have actually gone get it fed to us by those that did.

     

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  26.  
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    JGM, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re:

    That's why I said "another form". Rather than "why should the show be restricted to those with tickets" it was "why should the best seats be restricted to those with the best tickets" (ie. "freedom" to sit where you want). Similar ironic commentary -- "rock and roll is about freedom, man, don't tell me where to sit" -- came out around the time festival seating was going away; it took a disaster (see http://www.crowdsafe.com/taskrpt/ ) to kill the approach for good.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 12:14pm

    All MTV was doing was creating a scarce good, so their contest had actual value. Otherwise, people would have just shown up and taken in the infinitely free concert.

    Don't you guys know anything about Masnick marketing? Geez!

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That's why I said "another form".

    I guess so, if you consider cattle in a pen as also having "another form" of freedom.

     

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  29.  
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    Lauren, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 12:34pm

    Berlin Wall

    How appropriate people can reminisce about the fall of the wall and how far Germany has come by looking at the new wall. Maybe MTV will make it look just like the first!
    http://www.newsy.com/videos/reminiscing_the_fall_of_berlin_wall

     

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  30.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    MTV screwed up LiveAid a few years back, now they screw up this.
    MTV, you are way past your due date... you have become irrelevant.

     

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  31.  
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    JGM, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 12:51pm

    Re:

    MTV screwed up LiveAid a few years back, now they screw up this.

    Heh heh. "A few years back" = 1985. I wish I "screwed up" that often.

     

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  32.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 1:00pm

    Re:

    yes they made 0 money of the scarce concert... 0? yes, because the concert was free. Nice try troll.

    And they could have used something other than a fence with white tarp over it... like an open fence...

     

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  33.  
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    Nick Coghlan (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    Re: MTV was concerned

    If it was just a safety issue then they could have installed a form of temporary fencing that didn't block the view (e.g. chain link).

    Making it opaque suggest there were more than just safety concerns involved (or someone really didn't think things through).

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Heh heh. "A few years back" = 1985. I wish I "screwed up" that often.

    So, you're saying that was MTV's only other mistake? Sounds like we have some kind of fanboy in our midst, because nobody else here is saying that.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    Re: MTV was concerned

    Yeah, this wall was just for the people's own good. Like the one before it too.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Re:

    They made publicity, perhaps they raised their viewership, their profile. Everything is advertising, remember?

     

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  37.  
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    Aldusian, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 5:04pm

    I guess this proves (once again) that rock is dead. Dead as music, dead as a cultural force, dead as anything but a massive fiscal reacharound that taints anyone involved with it. U2, like the Sex Pistols, have become what they were once opposed to. I wouldn't recommend a RtF with them unless they wore full body armor.

     

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  38.  
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    Jamie Martin, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 5:56pm

    A little research could have been done

    From reddit: Thank you for being reasonable. I just came back from the concert, I didn't have a ticket, but I still managed a good view. Just before the concert started, they started letting other people into the concert area as space allowed. The "wall", by the way, was just a wire fence. The area blocked off was just small area on the side of Pariser Platz. Even if they hadn't fenced off this area, it would have only extended the concert space by about 15 feet on either side. Then you run into really massive and permanent walls along the side of Pariser Platz called "buildings" and they're not gonna budge. tl;dr ... this article smells http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/a1byd/mtv_erects_wall_to_block_view_of_u2s_fre e_concert/c0fea94

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 9:29pm

    Re: A little research could have been done

    I wonder who we can trust more, the AP writer who reported that there was a large white tarp over the fence to keep outsiders from seeing in, or anonymous reddit commenter motox004 who said there wasn't. For some reason, I'm inclined to trust the anonymous commenter in this case, although the AP did also say that "some fans already were trying to tear down the tarp before the concert." Maybe they succeeded?

     

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  40.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 3:08am

    Re: Re:

    Try 2006... I meant of course Live8.
    Did you try to watch their coverage? It was solely MTV 'VJ's strutting their stuff in front of a crowd, instead of any of the music, except for tiny snippets every once in a while.
    It was just ads and talk tv.

     

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  41.  
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    RFWoodstock, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 5:26am

    The Wall was WRONG

    How utterly insensitive of MTV. A WALL TO CELEBRATE THE END OF THE HATED BERLIN WALL!!!!!

    THE TRUE SPIRIT OF WOODSTOCK LIVES ONLINE!!!! Join us. We're a small group of folks based at Utopia Studios in Woodstock who are keeping the spirit of Woodstock alive.

    Listen to RADIO WOODSTOCK 69 which features only music from the original Woodstock era (1967-1971) and RADIO WOODSTOCK with music from the original Woodstock era to today’s artists who reflect the spirit of Woodstock. Watch Woodstock TV.

    Go to http://www.woodstockuniverse.com for details and to join our Woodstock Universe online community.

    Peace, love, music,
    RFWoodstock
    rfwoodstock@gmail.com

     

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  42.  
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    JGM, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ah. I only saw a few bits of Live8 that I downl. . ., I mean, ran across here and there.

    My (fair-use! personal!) VHS from the original Live Aid broadcast also featured way too many VJ shots, though.

    Anyway, reading further down the comments, it appears that this whole item is (another) overblown re-blog of a story that is too good not to pass on, facts aside.

     

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