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French biz laments “very partial” Collomb circular annulment

French industry association Prodiss and trade union SMA have deemed the State Council’s recent changes to the controversial Collomb circular as “very partial”, saying they will continue to “defend the sector against the directive”.

Proposed by former interior minister Gérard Collomb in May 2018, the so-called Collomb circular (circulaire Collomb) saw organisers pay the government for the deployment of police at live events, except in the case of terrorist-related incidents.

The idea was met with incredulity across most of the industry, with many citing a drastic increase to security bills as a result.

Under the new changes, organisers no longer have to pay a deposit – equalling 60% to 80% of the total security cost – when agreeing a contract with the state. The annulment also removes a deadline that obliged organisers to complete their payment within a month of an event’s conclusion.

An additional change dictates that an agreement must be signed between organisers and the government in advance of an event, if any law enforcement is to be deployed and billed for.

“Safety is a sovereign matter that should not be dealt with by the organiser of festivals and shows alone”

Although Prodiss and SMA, who took legal action to revoke the circular in 2018, call the partial annulment “a first step against the injustice of the circular”, they state that the key issue of organisers reimbursing the state for security costs has not been called into question.

“Event owners will continue to single handedly bear the costs of all police intervention that is directly associated with their events,” reads a statement from Prodiss and SMA.

“For professionals, safety is a sovereign matter that should not be dealt with by the organisers of festivals and shows alone,” continues the statement. “Our organisations will continue to fight to defend the sector against this directive that weakens its entire cultural and artistic ecosystem.”

The changes to the circular come following the French government’s creation of a new decree last year, which provided funding for security enforcement at live events. The law failed to appease Prodiss and SMA, with event organisers only being spared costs in the case of “exceptional circumstances”.

Photo: Arthur Empereur/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) (cropped)

 


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French decree offers funding for live event security

A new French decree focusing on safety at live events will provide funding for costs associated with security reinforcement, but will not cover expenses related to the deployment of extra police services.

A document penned by French interior minister Gerard Collomb last year proposed festivals and events reimburse the government for any law enforcement needed at live events, unless in the case of terrorist-related incidents.

The so-called ‘Collomb circular’ (circulaire Collomb) caused outcry among festival organisers who cited drastic security bill increases. Live music associations Prodiss and trade union Syndicat des Musiques Actuelles (SMA) lodged an appeal in November 2018, seeking a reversal of the proposals.

The so-called ‘Collomb circular’ caused outcry among festival organisers who cited drastic security bill increases

The new decree attempts to alleviate security costs and to improve safety at live events and shows, offering financial support to organisers to reinforce event security.

However, under the decree, the government will only reimburse losses incurred by public order-related cancellations of events in exceptional circumstances. Festival and event organisers are still required to cover the costs for policing in many cases, failing to satisfy the Prodiss and SMA appeal.

All companies pertaining to the National Centres of Choreography (Les Centres chorégraphiques nationaux – CCN), or those that pay entertainment tax, will be eligible for the extra funding.

The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of French minister of culture Françoise Nyssen, who will define the full details of the programme in the coming weeks.

French biz pushes back against controversial ‘Collomb circular’

 


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2018 a “year of impasse” for French live biz

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 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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French biz pushes back against controversial ‘Collomb circular’

French industry associations Prodiss and SMA have initiated legal action to annul the so-called ‘Collomb circular’ (circulaire Collomb), the controversial document that revealed plans to force live events to reimburse the government for the cost of policing.

The proposals, authored by interior minister Gerard Collomb, would see festivals billed for the cost of deploying police and gendarmes for anything other than terror-related incidents – an expense previously borne by the state.

The idea was met with incredulity across most of the industry: the Eurockéennes festival, for example, claimed the plans would see its security bill rise nearly 800%, from €30,000 to €254,000.

In protest, live music association Prodiss and the Syndicat des Musiques Actuelles (SMA), a music-industry trade union, have lodged an appeal with the French court of first instance, the Administrative Tribunal, seeking a reversal of Collomb’s proposals, which SMA claims would “endanger the sustainability of cultural events” by burdening them with “significant” new costs.

“Safety and security are a priority … but it is everyone’s business”

“This circular presented show organisers with a fait accompli,” according to a statement from Prodiss, “even as a consultation was in progress between the government and [event] professionals. None of the feedback from the professionals was taken into account in this decision.

“It is inconceivable that this decision was made without having previously measured the impact on the sector.”

The extra financial burden would be particularly acute as a result of the phasing out of the Emergency Fund for Live Entertainment, instituted following the Bataclan attacks in 2015, which expires at the end of this year, adds SMA.

“Safety and security are a priority; we owe it to our audiences,” comments Malika Séguineau (pictured), CEO of Prodiss. “But it is everyone’s business, and cannot be solely the responsibility of organisers of festivals and shows.”

 


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