Mar 12th, 2021, 09:30 PM

French Music Festivals in a Pandemic World

By Kiera Roddy
Image credit: Unsplash/Rocco Dipoppa
The live performance industry has been one of the heaviest hit during the pandemic. How can they adapt in 2021?

At this point, we've all had enough of the 'virtual concerts', where a lineup of artists is released but instead of buying tickets and going to the show, you just click a link and watch the live stream. It was a nice sentiment for the first few months of COVID-19, but at this point, we're burnt out. 

As festival season is quickly approaching, the French government is trying to work out a way for them to safely open. This is mainly in the hands of Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, France's Minister of Culture. It is their duty to maintain national museums and monuments, promote and protect the arts, manage national archives as well as cultural centers, and preserve the French identity. 

Translation as follows, "@R_Bachelot brought together festival managers from #MusiquesActuelles , professional organizations and federations to discuss the situation of #festivals. The goal: to have a festival season in 2021".

While festivals may be open this fall, they won't be in their full glory. The only way festivals could even have a chance at re-opening this summer is if significant safety precautions are taken. Right now festivals, indoor and outdoor alike, will have a maximum capacity of 5,000 attendees. This number will change depending on the improvement or worsening of the health situation in France.

It is also up to the festival organizers to ensure that all spectators can hold a proper distance from one another. To do so, spectators will have seats, configured in a manner that follows health protocols, and is approved by the Centre de crise sanitaire ( Health Crisis Center) and the Centre interministériel de crise (Interdepartmental Crisis Center). 

The Ministry of Culture is trying to get the arts back up and running, that said, the health of the nation comes first. Fortunately, there are other ways to keep the arts from perishing. 30€ million will be dedicated to the compensation of canceled and adapted festivals. 

All that said, many festivals still won't be taking place this year. Well-known, international artists that would normally perform at these events are unlikely to attend for a crowd of 5,000 people. The festivals that do plan on taking place this year include We Love Green, Festival de Nîmes, and Les Vieilles Charrues.

You can find the full list here.