Gilmour Italy Shows Postponed

Former Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour‘s August 4-5 shows in St. Mark’s Square, Venice, were put back a week because the stage was unsafe.

Italian media reported that one of the columns supporting it was slightly angled and therefore unable to hold the weight of the lights and other equipment.

At press time, it wasn’t possible to contact Fran Tomasi – Floyd and U2‘s regular promoter – to verify the story and discover exactly what went wrong.

A note appeared on Gilmour’s Web site explaining how ticket holders could exchange their tickets for the rescheduled dates, which were at the same venue August 11-12.

Those who couldn’t make it to the either of the new shows were told to pick up refunds at the point of purchase.

Tomasi’s 1989 Pink Floyd show, which was on a floating stage about a mile away from St. Mark’s Square, attracted 200,000 people – almost double the number expected – and caused uproar among city officials who were inundated by complaints from residents who were bothered by the litter left behind, scattered acts of vandalism and drug use.

Thousands of fans climbed onto the balconies and roofs of historic buildings for a better view, allegedly causing damage to the columns of the Basilica and the Ducal Palace.

After the show, the army had to be called in to help clean the mess, and two Venice councilors were later ordered to stand trial for the costs the city had incurred by staging the event.

According to Italy’s ANSA news agency, the staging problem that delayed Gilmour’s most recent concerts – which are to promote his new On An Island solo album – wasn’t discovered until a few hours before the first show.

A note on his Web site confirmed as much with a posting that said: “A structural defect was discovered in the scaffolding just before the sound check this evening, which has rendered the whole stage structure unsafe.”

– John Gammon