Threat to Western Civilization Alert — The Art Newspaper reports this morning that Elton John plans an outdoor concert in St. Mark’s Square in Venice. Though John’s people are assuring the city that crowd control measures will prevent anything like the mob scene that accompanied a Pink Floyd concert there in 1989, local and international Venice-preservation groups are aghast at the prospect of thousands swarming the Square. Those would probably be the same creaking baby boomers who swarm it every year all during high season.
But wait. Worse still, the concerts are scheduled for June 5 and 6, creating the potential that the Elton John fans in their vast numbers will inconvenience the squadrons of art critics and other media types who will already be thronging the city that week for the press preview days of the Venice Biennale. Now this is getting personal.
Be afraid Elton. Those Venetians — and us art critics — know something about how the gods deal with presumptuous musicians.