“If we want to kill an entire industry…”: Will concerts and festivals be sacrificed on the altar of the Paris 2024 Olympics?

That’s the fear of event organizers following Gerald Darmani’s declarations that the Games will be a priority in terms of security. While the Ministry of Culture receives Wednesday to appease them, we are thinking with the regional players.

This announcement had the effect of the lights suddenly going out in the middle of the show. Last week, before the senators, Gerald Darman announced that he had invited the organizers. “large concerts and major sporting or cultural events to cancel or postpone” In the summer of 2024. Was reason given? For the 2024 Olympics (July 26-August 11), Paris has deployed too many police forces to control the same number of incidents as in a classic year.

Cruel announcement without consultation

“The Olympic Games in France are held once in a century, everyone should make an effortthen the nuance Minister of the Interior France Inter. If the festivals are held, it will be under conditions that allow for the mobilization of less police forces than usual… Adaptation will depend on the events themselves. However, he dismissed the prospect of cancellations being forced by prefectural measures. For the Olympics, 45,000 police and gendarmes will be mobilized every day for about three weeks.

In addition to the content, it is the way that many show and festival organizers are shocked. “It is violent and cruel to announce this without consulting the actors involved when we have all been so tested by two years of covid” Harold David, co-president of the AFC association that coordinates the OFF d’Avignon festival, summarizes. “There are staffing issues for security, we’re aware of that, but to lean against the wall is to treat us in a really infantile way.”

Meeting at the Ministry of Culture this Wednesday

Some organizers also do not understand Gérald Darmany’s order, because they say they do not depend on public forces for the security of the event. This is the case, for example, at the Vieilles Charrues festival in Finistere, which does not need to be. “Depending on the year, only 100 to 200 mobile forces were mobilized by the prefect.”

Same story for the Comedians of Spring in Montpellier. “The minister’s statements refer to demonstrations with more than 100,000 spectators, so we are not worried and have never mobilized public force.”answers its director, Jean Varela “Even if it’s normal for the Olympics to mobilize a lot of energy, it’s unthinkable that we can spend a summer without a festival.”

30% less participation than before covid

Once again, many organizers criticize the inconsistency between the discourse of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, which more convincingly defends its church and will receive them for the meeting this Wednesday, November 2. clarify these adaptation methods. “If the state fulfills its duties, everything can be considered”Harold David suggests that he does not want to downsize his festival without compensatory financial measures.

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“In 2021, we experienced more than a third of cancellations due to health restrictions, remembers Today, the average number of viewers in cinemas and theaters has decreased by 30% compared to before covid, and at our festival by 20%. We used to think it was cyclical, but we’re starting to think it’s not structural. If we want to kill the whole industry, let’s keep it up!”

“We discover the problem less than two years before the Olympics”

He is as surprised as many others “We’ve had the problem less than two years after the event, and how a 6th world country can’t have an ongoing cultural life in an Olympic year.”

Jan Varela says nothing more when calling for a broad consensus: “We must find a way of balance with the state and communities so that the spectators of the Olympic Games can fully benefit from our tangible and intangible heritage. This is the influence of the country. We must not oppose sports and culture. Antonin Artaud said that actors are athletes of feelings.”

No CRS on beaches in 2024

Another result announced by the Minister of the Interior in the summer of the Paris Olympics: the CRS cannot be assigned to monitor bathing on beaches, as is usually the case. So the frenzy is likely to spread quickly to seaside resorts and other seaside towns, as bathing accidents have been particularly high this heat wave year. It remains to define the contours of the new organization and possible replacements (municipal police?) in the summer of 2024.

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