This article was translated by John R. Bopp
A few days ago, we reported on a huge controversy caused by an organization working with the 2016 Eurovision Festival which included the Basque flag on a list of flags that were prohibited to be shown, alongside the Islamic State flag, and which special attention needed to be paid to make sure they didn’t appear on the screens of viewers across Europe.
The result of this “smart decision” was to see a huge movement in defense of the flag, which caused the organizers to rectify, though not accept any blame or responsibility for the decision.
It all ended badly, though, when, even after the organization “authorized” the presence of the Basque flag at the event, several young Basque people who brought it with them were forced to hand it in by the security team. What an example of northern European efficiency.
We were reminded of all of this last night when we went to the amazing covert Bruce Springsteen and his band gave at Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian. It was an amazing night, with over 40,000 people enjoying the over three-and-a-half-hour concert.
We were reminded of all this as we entered the stadium and saw the huge stage crowned by two flags, the Stars and Stripes and the Ikurriña. Springsteen had done something similar at his concert in Barcelona as well, placing the Catalan Senyera in a similar place of honor.
We’ve mentioned before how the New Jersey musician has a special relationship with San Sebastian, and, by extension, with the Basques. The Ikurriña atop the stage was not an empty gesture: no one would have said anything if it hadn’t been there. But its presence was a message from the musician to all the concertgoers.
While we were taking our seats, watching the two flags wave together, in what seemed to us a declaration of principles, two images came to us:
- The Basques of the diaspora usually hang the Ikurriña alongside the host nation’s flag
- The face that the Delegate of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country would have had upon seeing this American singer who had put up the flags of two nations, with the Basque being the more prominent one, while forgetting the Rojigaulda Spanish national flag.
We can assure you that these two images helped make us feel more at home, and enjoy the concert even more. By the way, during those enjoyably long 3.5 hours, he only used two langauges to address the audience: Basque and English. It was an unforgettable concert where Springsteen once again showed why he’s the Bos.
We’ll leave you with a chronicle of the concert written in the Dominican daily El Periódico.
El Periódico – 17/5/2016 – República Dominicana
Bruce Springsteen sigue cosechando éxitos en europa
Bruce Springsteen fiel con su público, no escatima éxitos ni esfuerzos sobre el escenario. Da siempre lo que se espera de él y cosecha triunfos seguros, como el que ha obtenido en su concierto de esta noche en el estadio de Anoeta de San Sebastián, rendido a sus pies desde mucho antes de empezar. La segunda actuación de la gira europea de “The River Tour” ha ofrecido lo que cabía esperar de Bruce Springsteen y su magnífica E Street Band: más de tres horas y media de entrega, electricidad y rock enérgico, su rock de siempre, sin riesgos -sus “fans” no los quieren- y con una gran dosis de profesionalidad.