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French band play to empty AccorHotels Arena

Having been forced by a ban on mass gatherings to call off their planned 25th-anniversary concert at AccorHotels Arena, French ska band Tryo went ahead and played the show anyway – sans fans.

Tryo, whose politically charged French-language reggae has won them fans across France and Francophone Canada, were due to celebrate a quarter of a century since their formation at the Paris arena on Friday night (13 March). However, earlier that day prime minister Édouard Philippe outlawed events of more than 100 people in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

While the concert as originally planned is rescheduled for Saturday 23 May, the group decided on Friday to film themselves playing in the empty arena – which has a capacity of over 20,000 for concerts – and stream it on their Facebook page.

“We wanted to show everyone that in spite of everything, the artists are there”

“We thought that keeping our birthday party going would be a small gift for our disappointed fans, who had spent the money to be there,” singer-guitarist Christophe Mali tells the Parisien.

“We also said to ourselves that it would be a positive message to send to the whole [Tryo] family and the cultural sector, which is going through difficult times. All these concerts and festivals cancelled, it’s really hard. We wanted to show everyone that despite everything, the artists are there.”

Watch Tryo’s performance at AccorHotels Arena, as filmed by a drone, above.


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