Paris 2024 Olympics: “guaranteed” celebrations, but Lollapalooza and Rock en Seine remain in suspense

Festival representatives had an appointment this Tuesday afternoon with the Ministry of Culture to clarify the horizon for the summer of 2024, where the organization of the Paris Olympic Games risks affecting some events, forcing move their dates. , or even cancel.

Concerned by Gérald Darmanin’s statements on the impossibility of the police to cover large gatherings between mid-July and the end of August, particularly in the Paris region, representatives of the main cultural event organizations (Prodiss, Current Music Union, France Festivals, etc. .met Rima Abdul-Malak for two hours.

The statements of the Minister of Culture on their maintenance of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, in an interview given to Le Parisien in mid-December, as well as the distribution on December 13 of a circular to the prefects, related to the security of cultural and sports events of the summer of 2024, signed by the Interior, Culture and Sports, did not completely dispel concerns.

A few hours before their meeting on Tuesday, several unions and festival leaders still expressed their questions to us. “We had a working meeting with about forty festivals at the Transmusicales in Rennes last December and they are united: after two blank years related to the health crisis, in 2020 and 2021, a new cancellation is intolerable”, reminds Aurélie Hannedouche , the director of the Union of contemporary music (SMA).

“No festival is in a situation that needs to be canceled”

The Minister of Culture recalled the framework of the circular sent to the prefects: only the festivals that mobilize mobile force units (known as “UFM”, for CRS companies or gendarmerie squadrons) during the Olympic Games (from July 18 to August 11, 2024) and the Paralympic Games (August 24 to September 8, 2024) are affected by date or format adjustments.

“With fifteen festivals related to these two phases and mobilizing UFMs, solutions have been found for most of these events, except for Lollapalooza, at the ParisLongchamp racecourse. (16th) and from Rock en Seine, to Saint-Cloud (Hauts-de-Seine)whose work continues to find solutions”, commented the office of Rima Abdul-Malak.

“The Minister expressed his astonishment when he read in the newspaper that some professional organizations mentioned the number of 2,600 festivals affected by cancellations, whereas this figure is not based on any analysis and the circular refers to the opposite. In today, no festival is in a situation that needs to be canceled: those that do not mobilize mobile force units are intended to hold. The harmony of cultural and sports life at this time is the goal set by the ministers to the prefects. »

“Only oral promises, not written”

The boss of SMA, which represents about 200 festivals, left the meeting “reassured”. “The minister really measured the problem and the ministry did a good job, reacted Aurélie Hannedouche. The Minister tells us that there are no more subjects, that he contacted most of the prefects and that there are very few celebration is still concerned. But we will still remain vigilant until 2024, because there are only oral promises, not written. We will also meet every three months with the ministerial team to review each file. »

“The exchanges are constructive and encouraging, also believes Malika Seguineau, general manager of Prodiss (National Union of Musical and Variety Shows), which brings together the biggest event and the biggest performance hall. We now have the framework – including the circular sent to the prefects – and a very clear line from the minister, who refused to talk about the cancellation, but we still have no firm decision. We hope for perfect visibility by the end of this first quarter and firm decisions through 2024.”

Malika Seguineau also wants to point out that “however the Paris Olympics will have an impact on the music sector, because there will be no concerts in the stadiums, or in the Paris La Défense Arena and the Accor Arena. during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. . This will be a great loss. »

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