Thursday, February 25

The festivals will have to “make sacrifices” to be held this summer

Roselyne Bachelot has decided. Solicited by the festival organizers, who said they could no longer wait to find out whether or not they were authorized to hold their next events, the Minister of Culture decided to practice the policy of “at the same time”, dear to Emmanuel Macron . Yes, the festivals can take place this summer, she said during a meeting with professionals in the sector, Thursday, February 18. But no, they will not be able to take place under normal conditions, and the organizers will have to agree to lower their ambitions.

The music, theater or opera festivals planned for this summer will not be able to accommodate more than 5,000 people at the same time on the same site, whether they are organized in the open air or in a hall. In addition, spectators must all be seated and respect sanitary measures, that is to say be masked and at a distance from each other. Standing concerts will therefore not be authorized, as was already the case in summer 2020. This framework could also be made harder or lighter, “In order to adapt it to changes in the health situation”, specified Mme Bachelot in a press release published Thursday evening.

No decision has been announced, however, on the date on which festivals will be allowed to welcome audiences. A major unknown, while several events are expected in the spring. The We Love Green festival, which attracted 80,000 people in the Bois de Vincennes (Val-de-Marne) in 2019, before being canceled in 2020, must therefore open on June 3. “These provisions are valid for this summer. For the spring festivals, it will be on a case-by-case basis, with a stricter framework taking into account the health situation and, logically, a greater risk of cancellation ”, one explains in the entourage of the minister.

New aid

Aware of the difficulties that these measures will cause for a number of festivals, Bachelot announced new sectoral aid. A fund of 30 million euros will be created to compensate for operating losses linked to the tonnage of 5,000 people or to compensate festivals which would be forced to cancel at the last moment due to a deterioration of the situation. Another fifteen million euros will be released to help capture festivals (theater, music, dance and others). “These recordings will make it possible to reach a wider audience, even if they will never replace the experience of live performance”, pleads the minister.

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