Italians criticized American rock icon Bruce Springsteen for performing in Ferrara on Thursday night despite the Emilia-Romagna region’s north being devastated by floods that claimed at least nine lives.
Fans of “The Boss” urged him and his crew to reconsider on social media in honor of the eleven people who died and the thousands of people who had to be evacuated from their homes after severe rains caused landslides and rivers to overflow their banks.
“@springsteen please consider to reschedule your concert today. Surrounding areas have faced devastating floods. You should because: all emergency resources should be available in the affected area; we need to avoid massive traffic; out of respect for the victims”, Massimiliano Zampini tweeted.
Others were more outraged.
Cristiana Boi described the decision to go ahead with the show as “outrageous,” while Laura Casadei posted: “It is a scandal that they are doing Springsteen’s concert in Ferrara tonight. He will sing without an audience as all the main streets are blocked in several places.”
Representatives for Springsteen did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Ferrara, one of Emilia-Romagna’s main cities, has not been directly affected by the floods and Mayor Alan Fabbri defended the decision not to cancel the concert, which was expected to attract as many as 50,00 people.
“I am sorry if anyone may have thought that Ferrara was insensitive to the tragedy in Romagna just because it did not cancel the concert of The Boss,” Fabbri posted on facebook.
A concert, “given its enormous complexity, cannot be postponed or cancelled” at short notice after having involved thousands of workers and tourists arriving in the city, he said.
The floods have instead led authorities to call off Sunday’s Formula One Grand Prix in Imola, which is close to many of the areas worst hit by flooding, with organisers saying it was not possible to “safely hold the event”.