Theaters concerned over latest health measures

While, since this summer, the festivals have adapted to health measures with the wearing of masks and the pass and as theaters are preparing their re-entry and the calendar for the 2022 season, the new government announcements on the return of the gauges ( 2,000 seats inside, 5,000 outside) and, above all, the ban on standing concerts caused quite a stir in the profession and among artists against the wall. It remains to be seen whether these measures, scheduled for January 3 and for at least three weeks, will be temporary or risk being extended with the winter period favorable to the pandemic.

The major tours of Julien Clerc, Orelsan, Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine, M and Bernard Lavilliers planned in France in rooms with high gauges like the Zénith risk being revised downwards, which will become a real headache for the organizers and producers. In fact, there are seventeen Zéniths in the area, which, from Paris to Lille, have around 6,000 to 7,000 seats and can be flexible, which further reduces ticketing and revenue.

Concern of the entertainment world

“We are worried and in anticipation,” admits Daniel Colling, president of the Zéniths in Paris, Nantes and Toulouse. If the situation worsens, we will have to cancel or postpone some concerts. For two years, we have adapted to all situations by directly informing the public, but we must also comply with the decisions of artists and producers for whom the financial stake is important. In addition, we have borrowed a lot to hold on and I am waiting to see what will be the terms of the government aid that Prime Minister Jean Castex is talking about. ”

According to the Prodiss (the national union of musical and variety shows) for which everyone played the game of the sanitary pass and complied with the Indochine group’s test last spring, the blow is hard because it brings back to life. question all the provisions implemented for months. And seriously threatens the schedule of concerts planned for 2022. Olivier Darbois, president of Prodiss, already considers that the first quarter of 2022 is largely compromised. “It’s a real step backwards with gauges going from full rate to drastic reduction because a lot of big concerts are held on a standing / seated basis,” he laments. Some will be postponed or outright canceled insofar as there are fewer dates available with the multiple postponements from 2020-2021 to the year 2022. There is reason to be worried because the entire balance of tours has been put back in place. cause. ”

Emergency adaptation

Parisian venues such as the Palais des sports (4,600 seats), the Casino de Paris (2,057), the AccorArena (ex-Bercy, 3,500 to 16,394 seats, 20,000 standing), La Défense Arena (15,000 to 40,000 people), which must welcome stars like the Fugees (February 19), Genesis (March 16 and 17) and Elton John (June 11 and 12) will have to adapt urgently to these new constraints if the situation is not improving. Ditto at the Philharmonie de Paris, at La Villette (2,600 seats), residence of the Orchester de Paris, which will reduce its gauge for future concerts, which its management has already been doing for two years. Likewise, the Tony-Garnier hall in Lyon and its 17,000 seats in sit / stand, the Nikaïa palace in Nice, the largest hall (9,000 seats) in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, will have to revise their gauge downward in the coming weeks.

On the lyrical and classical side, we are awaiting the measures taken by the Opéra Bastille (2,745 seats) while the Palais Garnier (1,979 seats), the Champs-Élysées theater (1,905) and the Châtelet (2,010 seats), also familiar with the health constraints of the Covid, should escape these new temporary measures which complicate the lives of their spectators and season subscribers. Finally, theaters and cinemas, subject to a ban on the consumption of drinks or the like on site, are deprived of a significant financial resource.

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