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Prodiss launches cancellation insurance policy

Prodiss has announced a new cancellation insurance policy exclusively for its members to “support the restart of the activity” in the performing arts sector.

The French live music association has negotiated two “tailor-made” insurance solutions with Aon, an insurance broker with expertise in the entertainment sector, and Areas/Maif, French insurers active in the cinema sector.

The first solution is intended to cover the cancellation risks for producers, concert promoters and festival organisers with pre-agreed and competitive rates, including an option to cover the risks of unavailability of persons linked to the Covid-19.

The second solution is designed to cover financial losses for venue operators, also with a competitive pricing approach.

Prodiss represents around 400 members including Accor Arena in Paris, the Bataclan in Paris and Mama

Prodiss tells IQ it will not bear the cost of the contracts but will simply provide its members with competitive contracts. The association would not reveal any other terms at this time.

Prodiss represents around 400 members including Accor Arena in Paris, the Bataclan in Paris, Live Nation France Festivals, Live Nation SAS and Mama.

In February this year, the French government announced a framework along with a €30 million fund which would compensate organisers – both for losses incurred due to the implementation of alternative formats and in the event that festivals are cancelled due to an increasing Covid-19 infection rate.

Insurance schemes have already been announced in the UK (£800m), Germany (€2.5bn), Austria (€300m), the Netherlands (€300m), Belgium (€60m), Norway (€34m) Denmark (DKK 500m) and Estonia (€6m).

 

Paris test results: Concerts don’t pose extra Covid risk

The findings from a recent test concert in France show that attending a concert is not associated with an increased risk of transmission when certain hygiene and testing protocols are followed.

The clinical trial, organised by French live music association Prodiss and Paris hospital AP-HP under the banner ‘Ambition Live Again’, took place on 29 May at the Accor Arena (20,300-cap.) in Paris with DJ Etienne de Crécy and the band Indochine.

The trial compared the risk of contamination between two randomised groups: an experimental group of 4,451 people who attended the concert and a control group of 2,227 people who did not attend the concert.

In the first stage, 6,968 people took a rapid antigen test within three days of the concert. Of those, 290 people had ‘non-inclusion criteria’ – one of whom had a positive rapid antigen test – and were not allowed to participate in the experiment.

On the day of the concert, all participants had to present proof of their negative test at the entrance, either downloaded on the TousAntiCovid-Carnet app – which was trialled for the first time at a public cultural event – or in paper format.

Throughout the event, participants’ compliance with wearing masks was assessed by an artificial intelligence tool

The health protocols at the event included the continuous wearing of surgical masks by all participants, reinforcement of hand sanitisation, and optimised ventilation of the room. The bars/restaurants and the smoking areas were closed. Bottles of water were distributed at will.

Throughout the event, participants’ compliance with wearing masks was assessed by an artificial intelligence tool from images captured in real-time by cameras placed in the room thanks to a scientific collaboration with Datakalab.

During the four hours that attendees were present in the AccorArena, the overall compliance with wearing a mask was evaluated at 91%.

Seven days after the event, all participants were required to take a PCR test. The number of participants with a positive PCR test was eight among the 3,917 participants in the experimental group, compared to three among the 1,947 participants in the control group.

Among those eight participants in the experimental group, five were already positive on the day of the concert, excluding the possibility of contamination during the show. Some participants did not return their saliva samples or did not come to the concert.

Prodiss says that its primary aim now is to dissuade the government from a “stop and go” approach

In conclusion, the study showed a similar infection rate in people attending the indoor, standing concert while wearing a mask (0.20%) compared to the people not attending (0.15%). (The incidence rate observed in the study corresponds to the estimated incidence rate in France in the two weeks preceding the event.)

AP-HP is now submitting the analysed data from the study for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, while Prodiss has requested a meeting with the government to discuss next steps.

The association says that its primary aim now is to dissuade the government from a “stop and go” approach and avoid the live industry shutting down when the incidence rate goes up.

The Paris results follow similar positive data out of studies in multiple other European countries, all of which showed that live events do not pose a risk to public health while Covid-19 is still a threat.

 


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France to lift all restrictions on outdoor shows

There will be no capacity restrictions on open-air concerts and festivals in France from 30 June, in news that will be welcomed by the live music industry but which comes too late for many summer festivals.

Following sustained lobbying by industry associations and the success of the Ambition Live Again pilot concert, as of next Wednesday concert organisers will be able to do away with social distancing, and the current attendance cap of 5,000 people, for outdoor events. Indoor shows, meanwhile, remain limited to 75% of capacity.

All events of more than 1,000 people must ask for attendees’ pass sanitaire, the French health passport, certifying that they have had both vaccines or a negative Covid-19 test in the last 48 hours. Masks are advised but not compulsory.

Previously outdoor festivals in France were limited to 5,000 people, seated, with social distancing equivalent to a space of 4m² for each festivalgoer. “It was unrealistic; people can not sit in their own little square,” says Aurélie Hannedouche, head of the Union of Contemporary Music (SMA).

Hannedouche tells Le Dauphiné libéré she welcomes the news but notes that it comes too late for events like Hellfest and Rock en Seine. “The resumption of standing concerts is good news, but it will be hard to readjust for festivals planned around mid-July,” she adds.

“We haven’t had any standing shows for fifteen months. Now we will be able to restart”

Malika Seguineau, head of live music industry association Prodiss, also welcomes the resumption of standing concerts, but criticises the need for the pass sanitaire for bigger shows. “People do not understand it,” she says.

“I’ve had festivalgoers tell me that they cannot attend come because they did not have their two doses of the vaccine, but this is not a vaccination passport – all it takes is a recent test,” adds Jérôme Tréhorel, director of Les Vieilles Charrues, which is taking place in a smaller, socially distanced format, compliant with the previous regulations, from 8 to 18 July.

Additionally, the préfets which represent the French government in each region can also overrule the national guidelines in the event of a severe local health situation.

Regardless of of these reservations, the return of full-capacity live music to France after nearly year and a half is a cause for celebration, Seguineau tells Le Monde. “We haven’t had any standing shows for fifteen months. Now we will be able to restart, within these conditions.”

With this week’s announcement, France joins other European countries incluyding Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and the UK in having set a date this summer for the resumption of non-socially distanced shows.

 


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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 fests welcome offer of help from minister

Friday’s rendezvous between the French minister of culture and 14 festival promoters was a constructive meeting but did not result in any concrete guarantees regarding the festival summer, say participants.

The organisers of leading festivals including Les Eurockéennes, Main Square, Vieilles Charrues and Les Francofolies de La Rochelle met with Roselyne Bachelot on 29 January, as concern mounts over the impact of France’s ongoing health state of emergency.

According to the Union of Contemporary Music (SMA), which represents Au Foin De La Rue, Les Suds, Marsatac, Festival de Poupet and Le Cabaret Vert, the minister told those in attendance that “fair and appropriate answers” would be found to questions on capacities, timings and configurations, “which we are delighted about, given the diversity” of the festivals, says an SMA spokesperson.

Live music association Prodiss – whose members include the aforementioned large festivals, as well as Musilac in Aix and Britanny’s Panoramas – describes the meeting as the “first step” towards securing certainty for festivals, which are “economic engines” for the localities in which they take place.

Bachelot (pictured) will hold another meeting with the festival sector on 15 February, by which time she will need to have concrete answers and solutions for festival organisers, says Prodiss.

“We have a moral and financial responsibility to our teams, our partners and our suppliers”

According to SMA, Bachelot declined on Friday to speak on whether reduced capacities and social distancing would be necessary, indicating she would save her decision for the 15 February meeting.

“In the meantime, she suggests that we work together on the type of assistance that could be provided to us” by the government, the union spokesperson continues, which, through Bachelot, has “reaffirmed its desire to support us through appropriate measures”.

A release from Prodiss entitled ‘15 days to save festivals’ says it “want[s] to believe that the state will be there [for us] and will support the industry”, but it will reserve judgment until the 15th.

Asking for “clear proposals from the government” to ensure festivals can go ahead, the spokesperson adds: “We have a moral and financial responsibility to our audiences, our teams, our partners and our suppliers.”

 


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Safe to hold hackathon on Covid-19 solutions for live

Safe – a European project that deals with event safety, security and crowd management – is inviting the public to join its hackathon, which aims to find innovative and viable solutions to help festival and events manage the constraints caused by Covid-19.

The hackathon will take place in the form of an ideation camp with four different focus groups, which will be guided by experts from the live sector, safety management, technology, data, smart cities and sociology:

The Safe hackathon will take place on 21 and 22 January from 9:30 am –12:30 pm CET. Each group will host a maximum of 12 participants and registration is now open.

Safe is a project lead by Prodiss, with International Live Music Conference (ILMC), Le Laba, Issue, Wallifornia, TSC Group Management, Mind Over Matter Consultancy, BDV and European Arenas Association, and backed by the European Union via Erasmus Plus program.

 


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French music sector plans a number of test concerts

The French music sector is planning a number of test concerts for this spring – following in the footsteps of the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Spain and Singapore.

A working group for test concerts has been assembled by France’s live music association, Prodiss, steered by Jean-Paul Roland (director of the Eurockéennes festival), Marie Sabot (We Love Green festival), and Armel Campana (Main Square festival).

Roland says the group is hoping to hold a test concert in March in an indoor arena such as Paris’s Zenith (cap. 6, 293), provided they win the support of government.

“We’ve spoken with a lot of people: epidemiologists, laboratories, CNM (National Music Centre – to finance the project), the City of Paris etc. All that is missing is the ministerial decision because it cannot be done without a stamp of approval from the Ministry of Culture, and also probably with approval from the health department and home office,” he says.

“There will be scientific answers in the weeks that follow, but organisationally, we will have the answers the same day, especially on the time and logistics to plan for saliva tests or PCR, for example, at the entrance,” adds Roland.

“That big summer festivals like Hellfest or Eurockéennes can test everyone at the entrance is unlikely, but it can be a complementary solution for spectators who have not done a test. We need to have as many indicators as possible to adapt,” he explains.

“I want to send a message of hope: we must be able to achieve a summer of festivals”

Malika Seguineau, director of Prodiss, says: “To reopen to the public, you have to go through this kind of experimentation, to lead to a festival season and, on the other hand, to establish a schedule for the tours, which depending on their size require three to 24 weeks months preparation.”

Two more test concerts are being planned for February in Marseille, 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, and a conference to present the results is to take place on 8 April in Marseille.

“We are going to stop being nice,” says Aurélie Hannedouche from SMA. “We have the impression that, in culture, we must give more guarantees than other industries. We are told that we generate queues and that we do not present scientific data: as if shopping centres do not generate queues? And where is the science for the stores where everyone keys the products?”

The various test concerts were mentioned by the minister of culture, Roselyne Bachelot, last Friday (8 January) on radio station franceinfo who said that it was “very important to base decisions on scientific studies”.

Bachelot also said she is “doing everything” to make possible a reopening of cultural places at the beginning of February after prime minister Jean Castex announced that there would currently be “no relaxation” in the closure of museums, cinemas, theatres and music venues, last Thursday (7 January).

“I want to send a message of hope: we must be able to achieve a summer of festivals,” said Bachelot. “I am confident,” she added.

 


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Google sued in France for advertising resold tickets

A court in Paris has prohibited Google from selling keywords to advertisers, including Viagogo and StubHub, which (re)sell tickets without the promoter’s permission.

Ruling in favour of French live music association Prodiss, which brought the case against Google France and Google Ireland (Google’s European headquarters are in Dublin), the Judicial Court of Paris found Google liable for reputational damage to live entertainment professionals, noting that by accepting advertising from ticket resale sites, it may have given fans the false impression that rightsholders benefit from inflated secondary-market prices.

The Tribunal judiciaire additionally declared that Google had “undeniably participated” in facilitating unlawful resale “with full knowledge of the facts”.

Prodiss brought the lawsuit after noticing advertisements for tickets to shows by Rammstein, Drake and Metallica on sites including Viagogo.fr, StubHub.fr and Rocket-Ticket.com at, or near, the top of Google’s search results. In France, it is illegal to sell tickets without authorisation from the event organiser.

The court prohibited Google from allowing the purchase of ad keywords relating to the sale of tickets for shows in France

Google will have one month to act on the ruling, which will apply to all live shows taking place in France, including ticket retailers based elsewhere but selling tickets for French shows.

In the 15 October judgment, the court prohibited Google Ireland, which operates Google Ads (formerly AdWords), from allowing the purchase of advertising keywords relating to the sale of tickets for shows in France, unless the purchaser can prove that they have written authorisation from the rightsholder.

It also ordered Google to pay Prodiss €40,000 for in damages and an additional €20,000 under article 700 of the code of civil procedure (CPC).

In November, Google began accepting advertising from Viagogo once more after having previously banned the site from its AdWords platform.

 


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The Associates: NAA, Plasa, Prodiss

Covid-19 has impacted every business sector around the world, but with live entertainment likely to be one of the last industries to return, given social distancing regulations, the associations that represent its millions of employees have never been more important.

As restrictions in many countries enter yet another month, for issue 91 IQ found out more about some of our association partners and discovered just what they are doing to help their members navigate and survive.

Following the last instalment with Liveurope, Music Managers Forum and Music Venue Trust, this time we check in with the National Arenas Association, Plasa and Prodiss.

 


The National Arenas Association (UK & Ireland)
The National Arenas Association (NAA) represents 23 UK- and Republic of Ireland-based arenas, all of which have a capacity of 5,000 or more.

The organisation focuses on best practice, networking, and achieving consistency across the arena network.

The NAA also offers comprehensive training courses with a variety of modules for those working in the industry.

Membership fees are £1,400 (€1,570) per year, plus a contribution to the NAA training programme.

Throughout the pandemic situation, the NAA has been engaging with its members as much as possible through email, video meetings and regular steering committee meetings.

The chair of the NAA also sits on the board of the UK Live Music Group, which has been instrumental during this period, allowing arena operators to provide input to UK Music as a whole, which is continuously lobbying government on pertinent issues regarding venues and the live entertainment sector.

Along with the Concert Promoters Association and the British Association of Concert Halls, the NAA has also formed a working group to focus on the reopening of venues.

The chair of the association is there to answer questions from any members of the NAA.

The NAA offers comprehensive training courses with a variety of modules for those working in the industry

Plasa (UK)
Plasa is the lead membership body for those who supply technologies and services to the event and entertainment industries.

Its members represent global manufacturers and distributors; production specialists; iconic venues; regional rental houses; and freelancers.

Plasa members work across the complete spectrum of events and entertainment, with involvement in concerts and touring; festivals; performing arts; film and TV; and major sporting projects.

It’s all about pro-audio, all kinds of lighting, pyrotechnics, lasers, smoke machines, massive screens, special effects, set and staging, and most importantly, creative people who love what they do.

Plasa currently has 425 company and individual members from all sectors of the industry. Business membership costs £350-1,100 (€390-1240).

Organisations such as industry bodies and education institutes can join for £200 (€225), and individuals can join for only £95 (€106).

As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded, Plasa stepped up, lobbying the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Department for International Trade, to secure the same valuable support available to other sectors.

Recently, Plasa collaborated with like-minded associations in the entertainment sector to launch the #EventsForTheFuture initiative with the collective aim of amplifying that voice.

The association has conducted two member surveys looking at the short-term and predicted long-term impacts of the pandemic, and experiences of accessing government support.

The results of both have since been published and shared with government.

Plasa members work across the complete spectrum of events and entertainment

Prodiss (France)
Prodiss is the principal organisation representing the live music industry (promoters, festivals and venues) in France.

Its 400 member companies account for 80% of the turnover of the French live sector.

Prodiss acts as an ambassador for its members, providing a united voice when dealing with public, national and European institutions, in order to defend their interests and lobby for a legislative and regulatory framework that is favourable to live industry development.

The organisation encompasses complementary activities that provide its members with practical and essential services (such as legal, economical, etc.) that accelerate and strengthen their competitiveness.

Prodiss is managed by Malika Séguineau, and its board of directors is chaired by Corida promoter Olivier Darbois.

Prodiss has estimated that the loss of revenue for its member companies throughout the coronavirus pandemic is around €1.8billion.

At the start of the crisis, they set up a strategic action unit, both for its members and to form the communication chain with the government.

Crisis management has included daily individual legal support for members; monitoring of legislative and economical developments related to Covid-19; situation analysis at economical level; and crisis exit scenarios.

The trade body has also organised numerous working groups related to the issues of ticketing, insurance, health protocols, and economic support.

 


View the full Associates list in the digital edition of IQ 91. To keep on top of the latest live music industry news, features and insights, subscribe to IQ now.


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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French biz pushes for full capacity shows by Sept

Over 3,000 members of the French live music industry have signed an open letter to the government, asking for “clear and coherent” forecasts on the reopening of the sector after more than four months of shutdown.

In the letter, French industry professionals including concert promoters, venue owners, technicians, service providers, producers, artists, freelance workers and others, ask for a decision from the government regarding a possible date for the resumption of standing shows.

“As we can no longer live in a state of expectation, we ask you for clear and coherent scenarios and deadlines so that we can work to restart our activities.”

The industry representatives say they are committed to restarting shows at 100% capacity from 1 September, but state this date is getting increasingly difficult to envisage due to issues related to programming and the organisation of tours.

The live professionals also state they have “demonstrated our sense of responsibility and our ability to rigorously apply government decisions and regulatory framework”, as well as submitting “concrete proposals” with a view to working with the government to restart business.

“As we can no longer live in a state of expectation, we ask you for clear and coherent scenarios and deadlines so that we can work to restart our activities”

However, unlike other French sectors such as sport and hospitality, the live music business has not received a concrete timetable for reopening.

“Nobody understands the silence concerning us,” say the industry representatives, “starting with the public who question us insistently and who tell us their desire to go back to concerts.”

“We feel abandoned and despised by our public partners.”

The number of signatories of the letter has more than doubled since being sent to French president Emmanual Macron, prime minister Jean Castex and culture minister Roselyne Bachelot on Thursday (23 July), with festivals Hellfest Open Air, Eurockéennes de Belfort, Les Rencontres Trans Musicales de Rennes and Vieilles Charrues; venues the Bataclan and Zénith Paris; and trade union Syndicat des Musiques Actuelles (SMA) and industry body Prodiss among those to show their support.

Large-scale events (over 5,000 capacity) are currently banned in France until September. Social distancing measures are still in place for all shows, with masks obligatory at indoor venues from 1 August.

The letter is available to read in full here.

Photo: © Rémi Jouan, CC-BY-SAGNU Free Documentation LicenseWikimedia Commons

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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