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Overly imposing sanitary restrictions, unclear future… Towards a new summer without a festival


From Paris to Saint Brieuc, from Arras to Marmande, a wind of cancellation is blowing over the current music festivals planned for this summer. After a flurry of hope at the start of the year comes a hurricane of disillusionment.

Art Rock, Main Square, Lollapalooza… The list of the most imposing summer festivals forced to cancel their 2021 edition is still growing.

The reason has been the same for a year now: a stubborn health crisis and crippling restrictions.

Read also: Covid-19: the Main Square festival in Arras canceled for the second year in a row

These current music events, which could not be held in 2020, join the cohort of XXL festivals that have already thrown in the towel.

The Solidays (228,000 people in 2019), the Hellfest (180,000 spectators in 2019) or even Garorock (162,000 spectators in 2019), to name a few.


It's sad, the list is growing and it is not over,

" comments for AFP Malika Seguineau, of Prodiss (National Union of producers, broadcasters, festivals and theaters in the private sector).


The big summer tours depend in large part on the holding of festivals: we end up saying to ourselves that 2021 could be worse than 2020 ... It's terrible

", confides the person in charge.

The framework set by the government for the organization of festivals this summer - 5,000 people maximum, seated and distanced - is not suitable for most major current music events.

The Main Square (115,000 people in 2019 in Arras) thus indicated on Wednesday that these conditions "

do not correspond

" to the spirit of the festival and to the expectations of its audience: "

Can we really deprive ourselves of conviviality, of exchange? , the frenzy and sharing that are the spice of the event?


The organizers answered no and made an appointment in 2022.

A "

total lack of perspective


Art Rock (80,000 people in 2019 in Saint-Brieuc) highlighted Tuesday the "

degradation of the health context and the total lack of perspective as to the reopening of cultural places

" to justify its cancellation.

The words are pretty much the same on the side of Lollapalooza in Paris (95,000 people in 2019), which also gave up on Tuesday.

Art Rock hopes to be able to set up an alternative event in September but already evokes "

6 million euros of economic flows and more than 1.8 million receipts which will miss the economy of our territory (region)

" .

All eyes are now on the Eurockéennes de Belfort (128,000 people in 2019) with international programming.

Its director general Jean-Paul Roland had spoken of a "

dead end

" during a virtual round table organized by the Senate in mid-March, which does not bode well.

Especially since the public of the "


", polled in early March (more than 21,000 responses), 72% rejected the idea of ​​attending concerts while seated.

For now, among the major current music festivals, Les Vieilles Charrues (270,000 spectators in 2019) and Francofolies (150,000 in 2019) have promised to take place while adapting.

What about test concerts?

But most of the others "

are forced to cancel


They tried to play the game,

” insists Malika Seguineau.

Because the framework is more than uncertain: distance, but with one seat in two, in three?

With a capacity of 35%, 65%?

We don't know

, ”she explains.

The organizers of Main Square also deplore in their


release the “

government procrastination


Malika Seguineau also underlines "

the insufficiency

" of the aid fund dedicated to festivals: "

of the 30 million, there are 20 for music - all aesthetics combined, from current music to classical - and 10 for the arts of street and theater



We understand that we would have to organize an event on our own funds, while we will need it to restart the dynamic in 2022, so we cannot take this risk for 2021

", decrypts the person in charge.

To darken the picture even more, the test concerts are constantly being postponed.

They were not taken into account for this summer, but to prepare for a possible reopening of standing concert halls this fall.

In Paris, an experiment with 5,000 people in concert standing in Bercy is in particular envisaged.


The health protocols are completed and sent to the authorities for validation," says Malika Seguineau.

But we are well aware that it will undoubtedly be necessary to postpone on May


But now is the time to anticipate.

We have a slow restart time.

If we are told “yes” only in September, it's too late, there will be nothing in 2021,

”she warns.

Source: lefigaro

All life articles on 2021-03-31

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