Paris, France

France gives boost to summer festivals under new framework restrictions

Following news of the Dutch Event Cancellation Fund that would see the return of events like ADE and Awakenings, France has now become the first major European market to outline a framework for summer festivals to be held in the country this year, despite the enduring Covid-19 circumstances. The new measures encourage organisers to reimagine a different festival format with attendance capped at 5,000 spectators, but attendees must be socially distanced in a seated configuration; adhering to specific health protocols. As expected, the news has been heavily critiqued by many event organisers.

Jean-Paul Roland, director of the Eurockéennes festival and representative of Prodiss (the national union of producers, broadcasters, festivals and theatres in the private sector) spoke with France 24, the country’s international news television network, to add the following comments:

“We’re in shock.

“The We Love Green festival (in the Paris area in June) surveyed its festival-goers and the responses were clear, 85% of those polled said they would not come if the public had to be seated.

“With 5,000 people, that would be impossible, what artist would accept to attend?”

The new framework, announced by the Minister of Culture of the French RepublicRoselyne Bachelot-Narquin, further outlines a $30 million compensation fund if events were to deteriorate in health, which would lead to the event being cancelled. However, the fund has also been the subject of criticism, with event organisers calling it ‘“insufficient”, and struggling to understand how it could support more than 6,000 French festivals.

France is home to a number of popular festivals including Les Nuits Secrètes FestivalDelta Festival, and Download Festival Paris. Yet it’s hard to see how events with such magnitude, and huge attendance numbers, will properly function. Our best hope is that, come summer 2021, Covid restrictions and socially distanced measures will be more relaxed, thus allowing greater numbers of attendees to flood into our favourite music events.

Photo by Rafael Kellermann Streit on Unsplash