Fans of the singer urged him to reconsider the decision out of respect for those impacted by torrential rains.
Ferrara, one of Emilia-Romagna’s main cities, has not been directly affected by the floods.
Cristiana Boi described the decision to go ahead with the show as outrageous, while Laura Casadei posted: “It is a scandal that they are doing Springsteen’s concert in Ferrara tonight.
“He will sing without an audience as all the main streets are blocked in several places.”
Massimiliano Zampini tweeted: “@springsteen please consider to reschedule your concert today. Surrounding areas have faced devastating floods. You should because: all emergency resources should be available in the affected area; we need to avoid massive traffic; out of respect for the victims.”
Ferrara’s mayor, Alan Fabbri, defended the decision not to cancel the concert, which was expected to attract as many as 50,000 people.
“I am sorry if anyone may have thought that Ferrara was insensitive to the tragedy in Romagna just because it did not cancel the concert of The Boss,” he posted on Facebook.
A concert, “given its enormous complexity, cannot be postponed or cancelled” at short notice after having involved thousands of workers and tourists arriving in the city, he said.
The floods led authorities to call off Sunday’s F1 Grand Prix at Imola, which is close to many of the areas worst hit by the flooding.
The Standard has contacted Springsteen’s representatives for comment.