Published on :
The summer festivals are in expectation, while the Ministry of Culture has set the framework for the holding of these summer cultural events. Only 5,000 people, seated and distanced will be authorized.
Will festival-goers be able to listen to music this summer? The answer is “yes, but …” The government ruled on Thursday, February 18, announcing that a maximum of 5,000 people seated would be authorized in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the side of the organizers, the reactions are diverse. “A cancellation of Hellfest seems inevitable”, said Friday Ben Barbaud, patron of this festival. This event specializing in metal, scheduled for June in Clisson in Loire-Atlantique, attracted 180,000 festival-goers in 2019 (and was canceled in 2020). “A decision will be made in the coming days, I have to see my teams and talk with my international counterparts, but 5,000 metalheads [fans de heavy metal] seated and distanced, it is not possible, “continues Ben Barbaud.
The director of Hellfest underlines that this festival is the one which accumulates “the most handicaps”: “an international program at 90%, 20% of the public who come from the international, fifteen hours of concerts per day, a giant campsite and the public who drink the most beers [alors qu’aucune décision n’a été prise pour la réouverture des espaces bars, ndlr]”.
“If some festival colleagues are delighted with the framework announced Thursday by the Minister of Culture, I am one of those who are not delighted: it is still the youth who will spend a rotten summer”, judge- he. He knows that depending on the evolution of the epidemic, the framework could become less restrictive. But “if the small festivals can change everything a month before they are held, the big ones like Hellfest cannot wait until May to organize themselves”.
“It’s already great”
Gérard Pont, boss of the Francofolies, scheduled for mid-July in La Rochelle (Charente) (150,000 festival-goers in 2019), is on the other hand one of those who welcome the announcements of the Minister of Culture, as “excellent news”. “Last year, in April, we were nowhere, without a decision, and here we are in February and we are told that there may be festivals, it’s already great”, he explains. .
“There are plenty of artists who dream of playing in front of 5,000 people, and then our programming is not international, so we can adapt, it’s only positive and the situation can, who knows, can -be still improving within five months, ”adds Gérard Pont.
The Vieilles Charrues festival (270,000 spectators in 2019) sees things positively. “We will adapt. It will not be a silent summer in Carhaix [commune bretonne où se déroule l’événement], it will be the summer of reunion, “said its director Jérôme Tréhorel on Thursday. Le Printemps de Bourges, at the beginning of May [200 000 personnes en 2019], had already anticipated and made a cross on its largest enclosure to 10,000 people. The Parisian festival Solidays (228,000 spectators in 2019), on the other hand, already threw in the towel last week, because this meeting is used to finance the actions of Solidarity Sida and its organizers feared that the organization would cost more than it. would not have reported to the charity.