France to Organize Experimental Concerts in March and April

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
Credit: Maxppp

France will try to organize experimental concerts in Marseille and Paris in March and April 2021, in a bid to reopen the embattled cultural sector.

Per an official statement from France’s Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot, two concerts will be held in Marseille in the second half of March, and one concert will be held in Paris in April.

“These concerts will take place, as long as we are not in the catastrophic epidemiological situation,” said Bachelot.

Bachelot also expressed her optimism regarding the festivals due to be held in the summer.

“I am very optimistic for the festivals where the audience is sitting,” she said. “For the standing performances, it’s more complicated. That’s why I’m undertaking these experimental performances, and they are meant to really test and show us what’s going on,” added Bachelot.

The two concerts in Marseille will be held in the Concert Hall Dôme with 1,000 sitting spectators. The visitors will have the possibility to stand up, Bachelot said. Per the plan, everyone will be tested before the concert, and organizers will distribute face masks. For the concert in Paris, between 3,000 and 5,000 people will be allowed into Accor Arena for a standing concert.

Face masks will be mandatory for all the events. Every spectator will have to provide a negative RT-PCR test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that is not older than 72 hours.

French cultural institutions, including concert halls, theaters, and opera houses have been closed since late October 2020. The French government is hesitating to reopen the cultural sector, due to the lack of visibility and huge uncertainty over the rapid spread of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants in Europe.