Summer festivals approved for seated crowd of maximum 5,000 in France
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Summer festivals approved for seated crowd of maximum 5,000 in France

Credit: Belga

In France, summer festivals will be held for a seated crowd this year, with a limit of 5,000 people, because of the coronavirus crisis, according to the Syndicat des musiques actuelles (Sma – Union of Contemporary Music).

“We know a little more about the general framework, but there are still areas of uncertainty, what is certain is that the festival season 2021 will not be like the others,” Aurélie Hannedouche of the Sma told AFP on Thursday.

The Vieilles Charrues festival, which counted 270,000 spectators in 2019, confirmed to AFP that it was ready “to adapt.”

Among the “grey areas” pointed out by Hannedouche is the question of the authorisation of the bar/restaurant areas, which will depend “on the reopening in the hospitality sector.”

“We want to organise our festivals this summer, but not at any price. We expect a strong word from the President or the Prime Minister committing to the recovery of the cultural sector,” she added.

Jérôme Tréhorel, director of the Vieilles Charrues, explained to AFP that the Ministry of Culture had decided to hold a “monthly meeting” with current music festivals to discuss the evolution of the situation.

“We could very well move to a standing configuration if the health situation improves,” he said. “I was very afraid that there would be no announcement at all or that the summer festivals would be banned.”

Les Vieilles Charrues will adapt, according to Tréhorel. “It won’t be a silent summer in Carhaix (where the festival takes place), it will be the summer of reunion.”

On the other hand, the Parisian festival Solidays, which saw 228,000 attendees in 2019, has already cancelled this year’s edition, without waiting for Thursday’s meeting.

The Brussels Times

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