Test concerts: and in France, when is it due?

We have been talking about it since the first test concert in front of 1000 people in Barcelona, ​​in December. At the start of the year, French projects were unveiled. Some have been working there since October. This is the case of that of Indochina which would be held at the Accor Arena in front of 5,000 people. At the Dôme de Marseille, two evenings of 1000 people should be organized one week apart. Events that provide hope for shows with large audiences, standing, still prohibited to this day.

Since then, we have been waiting. The Dutch authorities organized eight tests, of different sizes, in cabarets, stadiums, festivals. And here it is again, it is from Barcelona, ​​where 5,000 people attended a rock concert standing up and without distancing, that comes to us a reminder.

VIDEO. In Barcelona, ​​a rock concert brings together 5,000 fans … for a clinical experience

And in France, when is it for? Soon, we are assured. In Paris, the date of April 29 has been brought forward. “We finalized the protocol with the AP-HP (Paris Hospitals) and submitted it to the Ministries of Health and Culture last week”, indicates Malika Séguineau, the general manager of Prodiss, a union of producers of shows, part of the scientific experimentation which will bring together 5,000 people standing in the Accor Arena (formerly Bercy) and 2,500 outside.

At the Dôme de Marseille where two seated concerts of 1000 people are to be held one week apart, it was first a question of mid-March, then of April or May because the protocol established with Inserm had been changed. “We should know the dates this week, the validations are granted at 95%”, indicates Vincent Estornel, coordinating doctor of the project. A meeting is scheduled for Wednesday to definitively set the date and finally launch the invitations to artists in the region. The rap group IAM has already indicated that they will participate in these two evenings.

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In Paris, we want to be confident. “The City of Paris and the Ile-de-France region have already validated the project and confirmed their logistical and financing support,” explains Marie Sabot, member of Prodiss and of the organizing team of the test concert at the Accor Arena. We had over a hundred meetings! “If we want to be able to keep the date of April 29, we need a green light this week, warns Malika Séguineau. To prepare for the future, you have to start now ”. If it was up to Health to endorse the experimental part of these experiments, the decision is now in the hands of Matignon.

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One hundred meetings, five months! Why so long? “Ask the government, I cannot answer for it”, blows Malika Séguineau for whom “the main thing is that it is done and that we move forward”. “It is normal that it is long, estimates for his part Jean-Paul Roland, boss of the Eurockéennes de Belfort, who works on the Parisian concert. We had to find the right team, discuss the room, the outline, obtain the approval of the ministries which are now very attentive ”. Today more than before? “Initially, the government did not understand the value of these tests,” says a festival organizer.

If successful, discuss the limits set for summer festivals again

“Things should have changed since the beginning of the year in culture, but we feel a very great government reluctance on this point,” supports Catherine Dumas, LR vice-president of the Senate Culture committee. Obviously, in the current situation, we are waiting for the new decisions taken this week … “A question shared by Jean-Paul Roland:” Will the confinement and the figures have an impact on the holding of this experiment? “But if we wait until there is no more epidemic, what will it be for? »Asks the senator again.

But what are these concerts for? “The government tells us that we must do something to have scientific data and prove that there is no additional risk of contamination”, answers Aurélie Hannedouche, general manager of the Syndicat des Musiques nouvelles (SMA), committed in the organization of concerts in Marseille. If they are successful, festivals and the ministry could re-discuss the limits set for summer festivals, i.e. 5,000 seated spectators. “But it is not because we will pass these tests that the concerts will resume immediately, tempers Malika Séguineau. We are registering for a medium term. There, we are preparing for the end of summer, even autumn ”.

“In Barcelona, ​​there was a lot of emotion and joy”

“There was a lot of emotion and joy. Marie Sabot had been weaned together for over a year. Suffice to say that she did not shy away from her pleasure of participating in the Barcelona test concert on Saturday evening. She had been invited as director of We Love Green, a Parisian festival friend of the organizers of the Spanish event, but also organizer of the future test concert at the Accor Arena. “We were three members of the organization of the Parisian concert,” she explains. And we participated in three meetings with our Catalan friends, on the organization of their test concert, on the scientific aspect and on the more political aspect. “

Like the 5,000 Barcelona spectators involved in this “observational study”, Marie Sabot had previously performed a negative antigen test, the result of which she had entered on her smartphone in a QR Code also including her concert ticket and her identity document. She wore an FFP2 type mask, the most protective. “It was very well organized and the entrance to the room was very fluid,” explains the Parisienne. Inside, I was perfectly comfortable, because I knew that no one was contagious, thanks to the antigen tests. The public was at the same time wise, happy and very moved when the caregivers who took part in this project appeared. “

“Obviously, when you see the 5,000 masks, it seems impressive, but we quickly forgot them,” continues Marie Sabot. During the 90 minutes of the concert, people were dancing and singing, as if nothing had happened. The bars were open, that’s a difference with our test. The Spaniards will report their results in two weeks. They will obviously be useful for our concert, which will be the largest scientific experiment to be carried out in Europe. “

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