Pink Floyd’s Concert on Water

The Concert for Europe


In the annals of rock music history, certain events transcend the boundaries of conventional performances and attain legendary status. Pink Floyd’s Concert on Water in Venice on July 15, 1989, stands as a testament to the band’s audacious creativity and their ability to transform an entire city into a mesmerizing stage. With the ethereal beauty of Venice as their backdrop and a floating stage positioned in the heart of the city’s iconic waterways, Pink Floyd created a spectacle that continues to captivate the imaginations of music enthusiasts to this day The concert was broadcast by RAI worldwide to an audience of hundred million people.

Setting the Stage

Venice, the enchanting “Floating City,” served as an ideal canvas for Pink Floyd’s ambitious endeavor. The concert took place in the majestic St. Mark’s Square, with its ancient buildings and Byzantine architecture lending an air of mystique to the event. But what truly set this performance apart was the construction of an enormous floating stage, positioned just a few meters away from the historical Piazza San Marco.

The Floating Stage

Floating Stage

The sheer audacity of Pink Floyd’s floating stage design evoked a sense of awe and wonder. Built specifically for the occasion, the stage stood tall, towering over the Venetian lagoon, while its architectural contours echoed the distinctive motifs of the city. It featured a massive circular structure that housed the band and their intricate setup, with a sprawling catwalk extending outwards, inviting the musicians to venture into the heart of the crowd.

The Concert


As dusk settled over the Venetian skyline, the stage came alive in a blaze of lights and colors. The mesmerizing soundscapes and atmospheric symphonies of Pink Floyd resonated across the lagoon to the cheering of two hundred thousand spectators, creating an otherworldly ambiance. The band, surrounded by the tranquil waters and with a backdrop of centuries-old architecture, unleashed their timeless repertoire upon the enthralled audience.

The performance unfolded like a journey through Pink Floyd’s musical legacy, encompassing beloved tracks from albums such as “The Dark Side of the Moon,” “Wish You Were Here,” and “The Wall.” With each note, the music merged seamlessly with the surrounding cityscape, creating a surreal and almost spiritual experience for those fortunate enough to witness it.

Visual Extravaganza

The concert was not only an auditory delight but a visual extravaganza as well. Lavish laser displays pierced the night sky, casting intricate patterns across the facades of Venetian palaces. Gigantic video screens suspended over the waters projected vivid images and abstract visuals, synchronized perfectly with the music. The interplay between light, sound, and the historic backdrop of Venice transformed the concert into a multi-sensory spectacle that transcended the conventional boundaries of a live performance.


Legacy and Impact

Pink Floyd’s 1989 concert in Venice was a groundbreaking event that left an indelible mark on the world of music. It exemplified the band’s artistic innovation and their desire to push the boundaries of what was possible in a live setting. The imagery and sheer audacity of their floating stage in the heart of Venice continue to inspire subsequent generations of musicians and concert producers to think beyond traditional constraints, embracing the power of spectacle and immersion.


Pink Floyd’s 1989 concert in Venice, with its stage on water, will forever remain etched in the annals of music history as an extraordinary fusion of art, architecture, and musical genius. By transforming the city’s picturesque lagoon into their stage, Pink Floyd elevated the concert experience to new heights, creating an unforgettable night of sonic and visual wonderment. This magical event serves as a testament to the band’s enduring legacy and their relentless pursuit of innovation, leaving an indelible impression on the fortunate souls who witnessed this extraordinary performance amidst the captivating beauty of Venice.

David Gilmore:

The Venice show was great fun, but it was very tense and nerve-wracking. We had a specific length of show to do; the satellite broadcasting meant we had to get it absolutely precise. We had the list of songs, and we’d shortened them, which we’d never done before. I had a big clock with a red digital read-out on the floor in front of me, and had the start time of each number on a piece of paper. If we were coming near the start time of the next number, I just had to wrap up the one we were on. We had a really good time, but the city authorities who had agreed to provide the services of security, toilets, food, completely reneged on everything they were supposed to do, and then tried to blame all the subsequent problems on us. Lots of twaddle was written about it, even by some nice respectable journalists from The Guardian – stuff about our music disturbing the buildings; complete ****ing absolute twaddle.

The Concert on Youtube



Pink Floyd in Venice: A Concert for Europe – Wikipedia