While the traditional Fête de L’Huma and its many concerts could not be held in the usual format, last weekend in the park of La Courneuve, the music live is, despite everything, back in Seine-Saint-Denis.
With the concert by Angélique Kidjo this Thursday evening at 8:30 p.m., the basilica of Saint-Denis will notably host the first part of three exceptional and free performances, before Jazz Symphony on September 23 and Youssou Ndour on the 30th.
Concerts organized by the Saint-Denis festival, which did not want to sit idly by after the cancellation of its last edition last June. “We have all taken the metro or the train lately and there is no reason, if we are careful, that we cannot do the same thing in concert halls”, notes its director Nathalie Rappaport .
“Bring culture back to our inhabitants”
“Be careful” means ensuring distance in the rooms, making the mask compulsory, as everywhere in the red zone, and making hydroalcoholic gel available. In Saint-Denis, for example, the basilica will only accommodate 500 people… against the usual 1200!
Well helped by the maintenance of its public subsidies and the contribution of private partners, the festival was able to distribute a large number of places “to associations of the territory, which then gave them around them, to the inhabitants. »By targeting in particular the most fragile public.
“Showing that we can organize concerts again was also very important to bring culture back to their homes,” continues the director. They were on the front line during confinement to allow life to continue, caregivers, nurses, delivery men, cashiers … We said a lot at the time, but we must not forget. “
Note that the general public can also reserve seats, subject to availability, by writing an email to [email protected]
“Sensations and sometimes stronger because we have been deprived of them for a long time”
At the Dynamo de Pantin, too, the management has decided to offer a very attractive single price (8 euros) to bring the public back to their room. “The concerts are one of those activities which were stopped first and which are only resuming,” recalls Xavier Lemettre, the manager of the place, who also organizes the Banlieues Bleues festival.
He also recognizes this “little apprehension” for the public, explaining these prices so advantageous. “We are aware that this context remains very anxiety-provoking, with this mask that we wear all day. But we are lucky to have a room with high ceilings, a very large hall, a garden while very few rooms benefit from it, continues Xavier Lemettre. Once we enter the room, we find a lot of sensations and sometimes stronger, because we have been deprived of it for a long time. “
Again, only 80 seats are on sale against 200 usually for a seated concert and 450 for standing concerts … which are obviously prohibited. Some have been canceled, others reconfigured. Example with the Smith Brothers live on October 7th, group of afrobeat whose concert was postponed last May.
The concert will be held well in front of a seated audience. “While theafrobeat, it can be seen more upright, smiles the director. But they launch their album and really wanted to get back on stage. The artists, the public, us, we all very much want to return to an almost normal life. “
Temperature measurement at the Blanc-Mesnil theater
All over the department, the cultural seasons are therefore resuming. In some large rooms, as at the Blanc-Mesnil theater, the schedule is already very busy until May 2021. Thomas Dutronc will open the season on October 1, before Marc Lavoine eight days later.
But with great uncertainty, because most shows opened their reservations last April … when it was impossible to predict which health protocol would be in effect six months later. Some are therefore practically full … while the gauge will ultimately be limited – up to 50% of the usual 740 places – to ensure distance between groups.
“In this case and if the device is still in effect on October 1, which unfortunately I fear, we will have to sort according to the dates of reservations and we will place people until we can no longer accommodate them. … Explains Fabien de Beurmann, administrator of the Blanc-Mesnil theater. And unfortunately, in this case, we will have to reimburse them. “A temperature measurement will also be taken at the entrance to identify any suspected cases, which are at least 38 ° C.
“We don’t have a war chest to hold on…”
The administrator therefore expects to be faced with “a big economic problem because our forecasts are made on rather full rooms. However, we will have an almost 50% loss of revenue for each show, not to mention that we will not be able to open our bars and therefore we will also lose these small additional recipes. “
And for now, it’s hard to know who will compensate for the losses. “We do not know, even if the dialogue is constant between our representatives and the ministry, continues Fabien de Beurmann. Each year, we work on a balance, with the euro ready and we have no war chest to hold on. So tomorrow, we risk having a serious problem… ”