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Govt fund ‘to thank’ for strong summer in France

Culture minister Audrey Azoulay says despite terror fears the "vast majority" of French festivals have increased attendance this summer, confirming IQ's earlier report

By Jon Chapple on 31 Aug 2016

Audrey Azoulay, ActuaLitté

image © ActuaLitté

France’s minister for culture, Audrey Azoulay, has praised the “exceptional” ticket sales for the country’s music festivals this summer, the “vast majority” of which, she says, “have seen their attendance rise” in spite of challenges posed by fears of further terror incidents in Europe.

Azoulay (pictured) attributes the strong attendance and lack of cancellations after attacks in Paris and Nice, as well as in Belgium and Germany, to a strong police response and the fund set up by the French government to help festivals with security costs, which Aline Renet of industry association Prodiss tells IQ amounts to “around €7 million”.

Speaking to Radio France, Azoulay said many festivals were considering cancellation but “our response has been […] to help them to survive. We mobilised the public security forces – who I want to thank – and launched a support fund, [which] is still in credit. Many festivals have used this fund.”

“Our response has been to help festivals to survive. We mobilised the security forces and launched a support fund, which is still in credit”

Echoing Live Nation France’s head of festivals, Armel Campagna, who told IQ in July “people don’t mind the [extra] security” and that “people were actually cheering on the police at the [Main Square] site!”, Azoulay said festivalgoers have been largely receptive to the increased police presence, with the Aurillac street theatre festival – where clashes broke out between security forces and festival attendees – being the only event to see any trouble.

The minister’s remarks follow IQ’s earlier analysis of the French festival market, when Renet revealed “all major festivals [so far this summer] have increased their attendances”.


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