Restrictions facing the Covid: the bad refrain of current music

(AFP) – Return of the gauges and the ban on standing concerts in the face of the revival of the Covid-19: “We went back almost two years back”, laments Angelo Gopee, boss of Live Nation France, major structure of the show living.

The government announced Monday the return of the gauges for gatherings, set at 2,000 people maximum indoors and 5,000 outdoors. And standing concerts are simply prohibited. Measures adopted for a period of three weeks.

“It’s chaos. The standing concerts were only back since this summer and the full gauges (indoors) had only returned since mid-November”, plague Tuesday with AFP Angelo Gopee, who manages large format tours and concerts.

“If it’s to make a season that begins in April and ends in November, it no longer makes sense, at some point you will really have to live with this virus”, adds for AFP Aurélie Hannedouche, from Sma ( Syndicate of current music), network of medium and small venues.

“We were not consulted, we are beside ourselves, worn out, transforming standing into sitting is going from three people standing to one sitting down (hence a shortfall, editor’s note), some will prefer to remain closed for three weeks, ”adds the voice of Sma.

“Some tours will be canceled because there is no longer the possibility of reprogramming in 2022, all the slots are taken with the previous postponements, prolongs the boss of Live Nation France. But political meetings will take place, it is a lack of respect”.

– “I organize meetings here” –

Grand Corps Malade is ironic on its social networks. “I am therefore a candidate for the presidential elections, all my meetings are maintained”, we read above the dates of a tour renamed “campaign”.

Same tone with Eddy de Pretto: “I organize meetings here”, he posts, slipping his concert dates.

Angelo Gopee makes the distinction between OrelSan, which was going to launch its tour and could “cancel 4-5 dates and reschedule them until 2023” and Gad Elmaleh, actor and singer in his spare time, in full tour already postponed. “We’ve been postponing three times already, for Gad it’s getting complicated, we can’t postpone to 2023”. “Some tours are only amortized after a certain number of dates, in the case of tours, five canceled dates is 500,000 euros in losses,” points out the head of Live Nation France.

France escapes a closure of cultural places like in Belgium. But in current music, aesthetics like rap or electro are incompatible with seated audiences. “And who tells us that these measures will only last three weeks?” Asks Angelo Gopee again.

The industry believed it had taken shelter with the Indochina test concert last spring. The presence “at a concert was not associated with an increased risk of transmission of (Covid-19) during a concert in a standing configuration, without physical distancing, in people masked with a negative antigen test in a room closed “, noted at the time the Public Assistance-Hospitals of Paris (AP-HP).

– “Inquantifiable” –

Of course, the Delta or Omicron variants were not yet rife. But the vaccination had not reached the current thresholds either (complete regimen for 76.6% of the total population, more than 22 million people with a booster dose). “The problem with standing concerts is the bar. The Indochina test-concert proved that a mask, sanitary pass and a closed bar prevented the circulation of the virus. It’s sad a concert like that but it’s better than to put culture on the ground “, analysis on his social networks Sophian Fanen, journalist specializing in the sector, host of conferences at the last Trans Musicales of Rennes.

“The State will remain alongside those who will be impacted by these new measures, limited in time and adapted to the evolution of the health situation”, assured Monday evening the Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot on Twitter.

But Angelo Gopee points to “the unquantifiable in the context of compensation”: “faced with so many uncertainties the future sale of tickets will be affected, people will no longer dare to book”.