1988-03-11 Sportovni Hala, Prague, Czech Republic

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Notes

BONG magazine editor Michaela Olexova recollected in Bong issue 38:

"The Czech Republic was still struggling with the communist regime [in 1988] and Depeche Mode were one of the very first bands from the western part of the World to come and perform in our country. I remember the interest in this concert was overwhelming and there were thousands of people coming from abroad. The capacity of the venue was 16,000 but there were about 90,000 plus requests for the tickets!!! I also recall that the atmosphere on the night was amazing, although there were many state police officers to calm the crowd down, in order to prevent possible riots!?! To remember this special day, the DM fans started to gather on the date of the show in front of the venue for their black celebrations..."

Journalist Roman Čelechovský of Topzine.cz has recounted the events surrounding this concert as follows:

The people from art agency Pragokoncert were afraid that the Sportovni Hala was going to damaged by raging hordes of people, and that the concert would become regrettable. In old newspapers, funny interviews with the organisers can be found, such as with Danou Hálová, the Deputy Director of the Sportovni Hala. She said the security measures at the concert would be extraordinary. When asked just how extraordinary, she said, "Extremely extraordinary." A certain police officer, responsible for conducting the crowd, was predicting catastrophic scenarios, and after saying that "Depeches" were idiots, he elaborated: "Did you see the hairstyles on the heads of those who are standing outside?" Vendors who were sent to the few places where tickets were sold were thoroughly trained in how to deal with drug addicts, alcoholics, punks, demented people and other troubled individuals. To their enormous surprise, however, normal people were interested in the tickets. The buyers slept in the cold weather on the street. Doubt was growing among them, everyone was afraid that the concert was going to be abruptly cancelled. There is a story of a man who sold 10,000 fake concert tickets worth 2,500,000 Czech koruna in total [now worth 7,763,747 Czech koruna or 345,847 US dollars in 2018 - ed] and escaped before the high-ranking officers began their search for him. The ticket sale was enormous. Thousands of thousands were sold, and 90,000 requests were received at the Pragokoncert agency. Overall, more than 250,000 people wanted to go to the concert. Interesting amounts, considering that the Depeche Mode albums were not sold here and the music videos were not broadcast... However, the performance of the concert was absolutely free of trouble in the end, and all the fans were civilised. The measures, which, in addition to the various security guards, also involved the entire "Seven" [the Public Security Corps of municipal district Prague 7], were unnecessary.

There was no support act.

Set list

  1. Pimpf
  2. Behind The Wheel
  3. Strangelove
  4. Sacred
  5. Something To Do
  6. Blasphemous Rumours
  7. Stripped
  8. Pipeline (*)
  9. Things You Said (*)
  10. Black Celebration
  11. Shake The Disease
  12. Nothing
  13. Pleasure, Little Treasure
  14. People Are People
  15. A Question Of Time
  16. Never Let Me Down Again
  17. A Question Of Lust (*)
  18. Master And Servant
  19. Everything Counts

Sources

Ticket

Credit to unknown.