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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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Hundreds of French venues hit by coronavirus event ban

The French Ministry of Health has imposed a ban on all gatherings of over 5,000 people in “confined” spaces, following similar measures affecting the live music market in Italy and Switzerland.

Health minister Olivier Véran announced the ban on Saturday (29 February), which also forbids any events in the northern region of l’Oise and Haute Savoie in the southeast of the country, with “the aim of limiting the spread of covid-19”. 130 cases of the virus have currently been reported in France.

According to French live music industry association Prodiss, the ban will affect “hundreds of venues” in the country and “thousands of cultural events”. Prodiss has called a crisis meeting with the ministries of health and culture to talk over the decision.

The 20,300-capacity Accorhotels Arena in the French capital of Paris cancelled yesterday’s Juste Debout hip-hop dance competition.

However, directors of the Zenith Paris – La Villette (6,293) have announced that “no concerts will be cancelled in the next 15 days”, subject to possible changes in government regulations. This means concerts by Caravan Palace (7 March), Debout Citoyennes (8 March), Papa Roach and Hollywood Undead (13 March) and Claudio Capéo (14 March) will take place as planned.

The French Ministry of Health has imposed a ban on all gatherings of over 5,000 people in “confined” spaces

Shows at Zénith Toulouse Métropole (11,000-cap.) are also going ahead as scheduled.

At the Zénith De Strasbourg Europe (12,079-cap.), a number of concerts which “do not fall under the cancellation conditions” are still going ahead. The fate of an upcoming show by French singer M Pokora (7 March) will be confirmed “this evening or tomorrow”, while a Top Music Live show has been postponed.

A James Blunt concert taking place tonight at the Halle Tony-Garnier in Lyon (17,000-cap.) is going ahead as planned.

It has yet to be confirmed whether upcoming events including La Nuit de la Bretagne (7 March) will take place at the Paris la Défense Arena, as directors wait for local government to make a decision.

Elsewhere, Green Day became the latest act to cancel upcoming shows in Asia due to coronavirus-related concerns. The decision follows the cancellation of concerts by K-pop stars BTS in South Korea last week.

 


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Live Nation partners with Motorworld Munich on the Zenith

Motorworld Munich, the owner of Munich’s the Zenith, has partnered with Live Nation Germany to upgrade and modernise the historic venue.

The 5,880-capacity Zenith, a former railway repair depot, has been at the centre of the Bavarian music scene for 20 years, having hosted shows by the likes of Adele, Muse, Rihanna, Pink, Kylie Minogue, No Doubt, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

According to Andreas Dünkel, president of the Motorworld Group, Arantxa Dörrie, managing director of Motorworld’s Munich office, and Live Nation Germany CEO Marek Lieberberg, Live Nation will leverage its expertise to “support modernising the venue”, along with growing the venue’s “concert and live entertainment business substantially”.

“It’s the perfect combination to turn the Zenith into a highly attractive, future-oriented concert and event venue”

The Zenith remains the property of Motorworld subsidiary Freimann Event, and will continue to be open to all event organisers, in addition to Live Nation projects.

“The concentrated power of the world leader in live entertainment, combined with our expertise as a real estate developer and operator, is the perfect combination to turn the Zenith into a highly attractive, future-oriented concert and event venue,” says Dünkel.

Lieberberg adds: “We want to leverage our portfolio and our worldwide network to contribute to strengthening the Zenith Munich as an essential venue for us and our artists.”

 


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