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The Indochine group performs Saturday at the end of the day in Paris, in front of 5,000 spectators, for a highly anticipated test concert by the entertainment sector, hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis.
For fun and for science: 5,000 spectators have an appointment on Saturday, May 29 to dance to the sound of Indochina hits and rediscover the atmosphere of live, in the Bercy pit, in Paris, during a dubbed concert of a scientific study eagerly awaited by a sector hard hit by the Covid-19.
No distancing, but compulsory mask. And to respect the curfew still in force at 9 p.m., the free concert starts at tea time, with a first electro part provided from 5 p.m. by Étienne de Crécy, figure of the “French touch”, before the arrival of Nicola Sirkis and her gang at 6 p.m.
Indochina, a veteran group formed in 1981, which fills the stadiums and whose hits, from “The Adventurer” to “I asked the moon”, have passed through the generations, returns to the stage after having to postpone for a year (in spring-summer 2022) the tour of his 40 years, because of the health crisis.
This experiment, already carried out elsewhere in Europe, had become a sea serpent in France, where it was postponed several times. It finally takes place against the backdrop of a clear improvement in the health situation and two days before the start of vaccination for all adults.
But the stakes remain high for the entertainment sector, which sees the resumption in dotted lines, despite the green light since May 19 for seated concerts, with distancing.
So far, standing festivals have been allowed this summer, but with a limit of one person per 4 m2. A number of festivals have already thrown in the towel (Solidays, Eurockéennes), only rare events being held, most often in a seated format and with gauge (Francofolies, Printemps de Bourges, Vieilles Charrues).
A festival-goer for 4 m2, “that means dividing the gauge by 12. For a sector that lives off ticketing, it’s untenable”, judge Malika Séguineau, the general manager of the Syndicat du spectacle musical et de variety (Prodiss), which supports the project with the AP-HP (Assistance publique-Hôpitaux de Paris) for the scientific component, with the support of the government.
One month away from the regional, several politicians will make the trip, including the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, the president of the Île-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse, and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. The Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, has planned to visit the device, without attending the concert.
The study should make it possible to demonstrate that if they test negative for Covid-19 upstream, the spectators are not at greater risk of infecting themselves at the concert than in normal times.
The experiment, the first results of which are expected at the end of June, is only open to 18-45 year olds who do not present a risk of serious forms (obesity, hypertension) in the event of contamination.
Out of 20,000 volunteers, a group of 7,500 was selected after a first negative antigen test between Wednesday and Friday, in the Bercy arena, transformed for the occasion into a giant laboratory.
Among them, 5,000 people will be able to dance to “Your Black Eyes”, while 2,500 volunteers, the “control” group, will have to stay at home. All participants are encouraged to take a saliva test on Saturday, then another seven days later. The number of positive cases will be compared in the two groups.
The experiment also aims to test the inclusion of the negative test in the TousAntiCovid application, foreshadowing the health pass, which was adopted by Parliament this week. Finally, cameras should make it possible to measure throughout the concert whether the mask is still well worn, but not to target this or that spectator, assure the organizers.
Previous experiences, in Spain or the UK, have not shown a high risk of contamination. But the reassuring results of the first European test concert, carried out in Barcelona in December (500 people) are difficult to extrapolate, warned the researchers in their study published on Friday, because of the “strict conditions” of its realization, while the virus was circulating weakly.
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