WWII bombs call AC/DC’s Wels concert into question

A concert by Australian rock legends AC/DC at an Austrian airport could be cancelled because of unexploded WWII bombs.State broadcaster ORF reported yesterday (Weds), that the concert venue – the airport in Wels, Upper Austria – had been the target of heavy bombing by the Allies during the war.It added that Helmut Track, the city official responsible for protection from catastrophes, had informed the city government last month of the danger the bombs would pose to the thousands of people who would attend the concert on 22 May. Up to 80,000 are expected.Hermann Wimmer, the Social Democratic (SPÖ) deputy mayor of Wels, told ORF that no decision on the choice of the airport grounds as the venue of the concert would be made until after experts on bomb defusing and de-mining had presented their reports to the city government.Environmental groups had protested against the concert because of its apparent venue last January.Environmentalists also said holding the gig at the airfield would pose a risk to a number of endangered birds.Upper Austrian Nature Protection Association, WWF Upper Austria and BirdLife Upper Austria wanted the concert relocated or postponed and said it would endanger the second-biggest colony of curlews in the province and 200 pairs of endangered birds that nest on the ground.But local authorities said after a meeting with concert organisers and environmentalists that “a positive solution” had been found and gave the green light for the concert, which was already sold out.Under the agreement, 90 per cent of the airfield’s area will remain undisturbed by the concert, light and sound will be restricted to a minimum, and the grassy area near the hangar will be re-laid after the event.In addition, experts will conduct ecological “audits” of the concert area before and after the band’s performance.