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2018 a “year of impasse” for French live biz

Promoters' association Prodiss has slammed authorities for last year's sweeping regulatory changes, all of which, it says, were undertaken without consulting the industry

By Jon Chapple on 10 Jan 2019

Electrobeach 2013

image © Ville de Barcarès

After a 2018 full of “bad news”, French industry association Prodiss has warned that the live music business and French government are on a collision course as 2019 begins.

Prodiss, which represents nearly 350 promoters, venues and festivals, says it begins the new year “worried about the future of its relations with public authorities” as a result of harmful government interference in the industry over the past 12 months.

“On three occasions, these decisions were taken without any consultation,” the association explains, “and the industry was presented with a fait accompli.”

The three decisions in question were:

  • The exclusion of musicals and comedy shows from a tax exemption introduced in 2016, the CISV (Crédit d’impôt pour les entreprises de spectacles vivants musicaux), by which the government demonstrated “that it does not consider humour to be culture”
  • In May 2018, when plans were drawn up to bill festivals for the cost of deploying police and gendarmes for anything other than terror-related incidents – the so-called Collomb circular – “without any consideration for the disproportionate increase” in costs for promoters
  • In October 2018, a volume limit imposed on music venues and festivals “which proved technically impossible and financially impracticable”

The association has also expressed its alarm that the planned National Music Centre (Centre National de la Musique, CNM), designed to act on behalf of the French music industry and allow it to ‘speak with one voice’, still lacks funding, nearly eight years after conception.

“Our entertainment entrepreneurs, who are key players in the cultural life of our country, take note of the decisions and the current direction of the government,” reads a Prodiss statement, which describes 2018 as a “year of impasse” between the industry and authorities.

“We will continue to work towards [developing] the cultural policy of this country, [and] maintain a dialogue of trust with the senators and MPs who mobilised, particularly during the 2019 PLF [the draft budget law 2019], to support the CISV tax credit.”


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