After last year’s cascading cancellations, the survival of outdoor festivals is on. As the vaccination campaign continues, organizers have been anxiously awaiting a sign from the government. He’s finally arrived.
2021 will see the return of several major festivals this summer, but their configuration will be very different from those to which festival-goers were used before the health crisis. The main restriction concerns the gauge: no more than 5,000 spectators, announced Roselyne Bachelot, the Minister of Culture. And this figure may go up as well as down depending on the health situation.
No bars on site
We are therefore very, very far from the 278,000 festival-goers recorded in 2017 by the largest musical event in France (and Europe), that of the Vieilles Charrue in Carhaix in Finistère. The patron of the festival, Jérôme Tréhorel, made against bad luck a good heart and announced that there will be a 2021 edition, which could extend beyond the usual four days. The program will be different since some artists will not come, such as Celine Dion.
Festival-goers will have to be seated and respect physical distancing, which is eliminatory for certain events such as Hellfest, which cannot be held this year, like last year. Another difficult restriction for the economy of festivals, Roselyne Bachelot has banned bars and restaurants on site. Along with the ticket office, these two positions traditionally represent significant income for the organizers.
“We know a little more for the general framework, but there are still areas of vagueness, what is certain is that the 2021 festival season will not be like the others”, explained Aurélie Hannedouche, of the Syndicat des musiques current. It is certain that this year will remain very difficult for festivals. The Ministry of Culture is also studying financial aid to avoid an economic disaster.