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Bruce Springsteen show in Italy defended by local mayor

Bruce Springsteen’s show in Ferrara, Italy, was scheduled to go on Thursday while much of northern Italy was battered by devastating floods.

The Boss faced mounting calls to cancel the concert in the Emilia-Romagna region out of respect for victims of the torrential downpours, which caused several deaths, landslides and broke riverbanks. Locals took to social media to voice their concerns and were shocked to see that Springsteen did not reschedule the Parco Urbano show that was expected to draw around 50,000 people. The BBC reported that counselor Anna Ferraresi accused local officials of disregarding the despair of thousands of people in the region.

A representative for Springsteen did not immediately respond Thursday to The Times’ request for comment.

Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi told La Repubblica on Thursday that the bad weather would certainly affect the outdoor show but that the area was not directly affected.

Ferrara’s mayor also came to the defense of the “Tougher Than the Rest” singer and the city’s decision not to cancel the concert, saying that Ferrara faced “intense days” but was not damaged by the floods.

“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,” Mayor Alan Fabbri wrote Thursday on Facebook. “But I can assure you that as a former mayor of Bondeno, who lived [through] the 2012 earthquake, on the front lines, I have never asked Italy or the Region to stop championships, events and production of companies in solidarity with us.”

Fabbri said that “no one could have ever thought of such a moment when, two years ago, they began to lay the foundation for this concert.”

“A concert, considering its enormous complexity, cannot foresee any cancellations or cancellations after involving thousands of workers, and which sees thousands of tourists from all over the world flocking to the city who have bought a plane ticket, a hotel room for several days and have been planning for a long time in order to reach us.”

However, on Wednesday, Formula One called off its Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix due to the flooding, adding that canceling the race was the right decision “for everyone in the local communities and the F1 family.” The car race was set to take place in some of the worst-hit areas and was shut down to relieve pressure on emergency services.

The Associated Press reported that days of downpours caused rivers to swell in northern Italy on Tuesday and has forced some residents to rooftops in the region. In Venice, authorities prepared to activate a mobile barrier in the lagoon in hopes of sparing the city from a rare May high-tide flooding. Reuters said that at least 13 people have died.

Springsteen and the E Street Band launched their European summer stadium tour in late April with two nights in Barcelona’s Estadi Olímpic. The pair of three-hour performances included band staples “Dancing in the Dark,” “Badlands” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.” Their opening-night performance of “Glory Days” featured Patti Scialfa with special guests Kate Capshaw and former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, who sang backup.

The band then played three nights in Dublin and two in Paris. They’ll next play shows in Amsterdam on May 25 and 27 and continue the 31-date European tour through July. The group will return to North America for 31more dates from August through December.

The Grammy and Oscar winner will play two shows at the Kia Forum on Dec. 4 and Dec. 6 between concerts headlined by Stevie Nicks and Aerosmith.

This story originally appeared on LA Times

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