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France pledges €55m for live music industry

The French government has pledged a further €55 million in financial support for the live music sector.

In a press conference on Thursday (22 October), France’s culture minister, Roselyne Bachelot, announced an additional €115m for the cultural industries, including €85m for live performance, in order to “safeguard the programming” of live shows, “including [those] with extremely restricted capacities” (ie with social distancing). Of that €85m, €55m is specifically for live music.

The other €30m will go cinemas, while an emergency fund for artists and crew, dubbed the FUSSAT (fonds d’urgence de solidarité pour artistes et techniciens du spectacle, will receive a further €10m.

The new funding comes as French authorities impose a six-week curfew, from 9pm to 6am, across 54 of the country’s most populous départements in a bid to control the second wave of coronavirus.

“We encourage all French people to continue to go to see artists on stage or the cinema”

The support measures are intended to support the sector through the six-week semi-lockdown, which began in some areas on 17 October.

Additionally, the ministry intends to waive tax on tickets for live shows for the first half of 2021, pending approval by parliament, Bachelot added.

In a statement, the ministry of culture thanks entertainment “professionals for their […] commitment to continue to offer the public access to culture under strict health and safety conditions” and “encourages all French people to continue to go to see artists on stage or the cinema.”

There will be no standing shows in France until next spring, though some socially distanced, seated events were taking before the latest curfews.

 


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France axes social distancing for smaller events

Indoor concerts may now go ahead without social distancing providing there are fewer than 5,000 people in attendance, the French prime minister said today (26 August).

Two days after announcing that large events (ie those with over 5,000 attendees) would continue to be banned until November, Jean Castex announced that masks are now mandatory in all indoor entertainment venues, such as theatres and cinemas – but that in most of France, the requirement for social distancing has been removed.

The only exception is in départements – so-called ‘red zones’ – where new cases of Covid-19 are rapidly increasing, such as Paris, Lyon, Bouches-du-Rhône in Marseille and Gironde in Bordeux.

“I say to the French people, go to the cinema, go to the theatre – you don’t risk anything”, said Castex, reports Le Monde.

The new measures were confirmed by French culture minister Roselyne Bachelot, who tweeted about the “elimination of distancing and continuous mask wearing, except in red zones:

France is the first major live music market to encourage the return of live entertainment without social distancing. In countries such as the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands, local live music professionals are pushing for a date when shows may return sans empty seats.

However, in addition to loosening restrictions, Castex has warned of tightening them elsewhere, stating that even events with under 5,000 people could no longer be allowed to go ahead in the red zones if the situation deteriorates.

At press time, France had 132,090 active cases of Covid-19, with 3,304 new cases yesterday (25 August).

 


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French gov extends ban on major events until winter

The French government has announced that events with over 5,000 attendees will be banned until November, extending the original ban on major events for a second time.

In May, the government declared a summer event ban until mid-July before pushing it back until September.

This month, prime minister Jean Castex announced that the ban would once again be extended to November, following a concerning new spike in France’s recorded cases of Coronavirus.

“Events of more than 5,000 people remain prohibited until 30 October, with the possibility for prefects to waive them subject to strict compliance with health protocols,” says a statement from the French government.

Last Wednesday, France registered 3,776 new Covid-19 infections, marking a new post-lockdown peak and bringing the total to 225,043.

Festivals including Lollapalooza Paris, Hellfest, La Route du Rock, Rock en Seine were forced to cancel their 2020 editions

Festivals including Lollapalooza Paris, Hellfest, La Route du Rock, Rock en Seine, Eurockéennes de Belfort, Solidays, Festival d’Avignon and Main Square were forced to cancel their 2020 editions due to France’s ongoing event ban.

The new measures in France are identical to that of Germany, following German chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to extend the country’s event ban to November, but with exceptions for those able to comply with coronavirus regulations.

Elsewhere in Europe, Belgium recently announced more stringent restrictions, halving the number of people permitted to attend indoor and outdoor events, reducing capacity limits to 100 and 200 respectively.

The country’s capacity limits had been set to double in August, which would have seen 400-capacity indoor shows and open-air events of up to 800 people, but plans were slashed after a worrying increase in coronavirus cases.

However, Switzerland is planning a promising return to live, permitting events with more than 1,000 people from 1 October.

 


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