Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has been made an Honorary citizen of Sarajevo in recognition of his fabled 1994 show in the war-ravaged city.
With Sarajevo under heavy bombardment, Bruce and his band flouted official safety advice to travel to the city and perform a legendary concert at the Bosnian Cultural Centre (BKC) on 14th December 1994.
The purpose of the highly dangerous, life-threatening trip and live show – where Bruce and co. were literally smuggled in to the besieged area - was to remind the people of Sarajevo they weren’t forgotten despite being cut off from the rest of the world.
Almost 24 years on, this week members of the Sarajevo City Council voted unanimously if favour of making Bruce an ‘Honorary Citizen of Sarajevo.’
Explaining the reason for handing Bruce the title, the Council said that as a foreign citizen he has ‘contributed significantly to the development and affirmation of Sarajevo, as well as to the relations among people based on solidarity, democracy and human rights.’
Reacting to the prestigious honour, Bruce said: “My emotions are swirling, thank you all.”
Bruce Dickinson in 1994 © REX/Shutterstock
As Global Voice reports, the typically modest Bruce has noted that his band Skunkworks share the credit along with the people who made the arduous journey possible, including the UN.
Bruce Dickinson will be officially bestowed with the honour at a ceremony in Sarajevo on Sunday 25th November. It’s currently unclear whether he will attend.
The Sarajevo concert was, of course, the subject of the critically acclaimed documentary film ‘Scream For Me Sarajevo’.
Written by Jasenko Pasic and directed by Tarik Hodzic, the film not only focusses on the concert but also reflects on the people of Sarajevo taking drastic measures to endure the brutal hardships of war and pushing the boundaries to survive.
Speaking of his experience, Bruce said: “It changed the way I viewed life, death and other human beings.”
Having been screened at select cinemas, ‘Scream For Me Sarajevo’ was released on DVD, Blu-Ray and digitally back in June – the same day music from the film was made available to buy on CD, double LP and digitally.
You can watch the trailer here: