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Paris test concert finally rescheduled

After a series of stops and starts, French live music association Prodiss and Paris hospital AP-HP have finally been given the green light for the Paris test concert.

The clinical trial was initially announced in February and should have taken place in April but the scheme got “stuck on the government side”, with the ministry of culture proving “unreachable” amid the new lockdown measures.

The experiment, dubbed ‘Ambition Live Again’, will now take place on 29 May at the Accor Arena (20,300-cap.) in Paris with DJ Etienne de Crécy and the band Indochine.

The trial will compare the risk of contamination between two randomised groups: an experimental group of 5,000 people will attend the concert and a control group of 2,500 people will not attend the concert.

The trial will compare the risk of contamination between two randomised groups

The concertgoers will be required to take an antigen test a maximum of 72 hours before the concert and a PCR test seven days after the concert, while the control group will take a self-test on the day of the concert.

Once inside, attendees will not socially distance, though everyone will be required to wear a mask.

The scientific team specified that the participants could not be people at risk and must be in an age group between 18-45 years old and live in Ile-de-France. A full list of criteria can be found on the Ambition Live Again website.

The sister pilot in Marseille was also hit by delays and has not yet been rescheduled. As reported in IQ, a thousand people are expected to attend the two shows at the Dôme (cap. 8,500) in Marseille, which will see performances from French hip-hop group Iam.

See IQ‘s extensive timeline of live music pilot projects here and read about them in-depth here.

 


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French pilot concerts hit by delays

As the Netherlands steams ahead with yet another round of clinically monitored pilot concerts, media in France is asking when its test shows, first announced in January but still without dates, will take place.

The concerts were supposed to have kicked off in the second half of March, with French hip-hop group Iam playing two shows at the 8,500-capacity Dôme in Marseille, followed by a sister event with the band Indochine at Paris’s Accor Arena (20,300-cap.) in April. A thousand people are expected to attend the Marseille concerts, with the Paris experiment having a capacity for 5,000.

During a session of the French Senate on 25 March, sénateurs heard from Constance Delaugerre of St Louis Hospital, which is supporting the Paris show, that the concerts are still feasible, despite tightening restrictions in France (which culminated in a third national lockdown from Sunday 4 April). Additionally, on Friday the city of Marseille signed an agreement with Inserm (the National Institute of Health and Medical Research) reaffirming the availability of the Dôme for the planned pilot shows.

The scheme is reportedly still “stuck on the government side”

Last week, Le Parisien reported that the shows would instead take place on 29 April, although that is now looking unlikely with France in a four-week lockdown.

According to RTL, while organisers are keen to to get going (the pilot programme is being coordinated by industry association Prodiss), the scheme is currently “stuck on the government side”, with the ministry of culture proving “unreachable” amid the new lockdown measures.

Since announcing the test concerts, France has seen a number of high-profile festival cancellations, including the likes of Lollapalooza Paris, Les Vieilles Charrues, Hellfest and Les Eurockéennes, with most citing a cap on attendance of 5,000 seated guests as being responsible for the decision not to go ahead.

“[T]he government has hesitated too much since February and the epidemic situation has ignited,” writes RTL’s Jean-Mathieu Pernin. “As a result, these concerts still have not taken place, and the festivals are cancelling one after another.”

 


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French test concerts will admit positive Covid cases

France’s upcoming test concerts will admit participants who tested positive for Covid-19 before the event, according to the French minister for culture, Roselyne Bachelot.

Bachelot yesterday evening (15 January) appeared on French news channel LCI to discuss the upcoming experiments, which are spearheaded by a new working group, and revealed that positive cases “will not be filtered because you have to put yourself in a situation where there will be a mixing”.

A number of similar experiments have taken place across Europe, including Germany’s Restart-19 and Spain’s Primacov, but the tests in France would be the first to allow entry for Covid-positive participants.

According to the culture minister, two tests will take place at The Dome (cap. 8,500), Marseille, in the second half of March with 1,000 spectators who will be “seated with the possibility of getting up”.

“I am very optimistic about festivals and seated shows. For standing shows, it’s more complicated”

Participants will be tested beforehand and will be required to wear masks and use antibacterial gel.

The Marseille concerts will be organised by Béatrice Desgranges of the city’s flagship festival, Marsatac, who is also a member of France’s live music trade body, SMA (Syndicat des musiques contemporaries).

The protocols for the tests have been validated by Inserm (National Institute of Health and Medical Research) and the Scientific Council of Professor Delfraissy.

The Paris experiment will take place at the AccorHotels Arena (cap. 20, 300) in April with 5,000 participants, under the guidance of the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, says Bachelot.

“I am very optimistic about festivals and seated shows. For standing shows, it’s more complicated,” the culture minister told LCI.

The minister also revealed that the experiments would be reviewed during an international conference in Marseille on 8 April.

 


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