Concerts canceled at the Zénith and at the Bikini, tours interrupted, ticket sales at half mast: the picture is gloomy for the turners who demand the end of the gauges in the rooms while the decisions of the government of Wednesday January 19 will be decided.
No one knows to date if the capacity restrictions (no more than 2,000 places and only seated) in performance halls will be extended beyond January 23. Hoping that this is not the case, Orelsan has decided to resume his tour as soon as possible and his concert in Toulouse, which is sold out, Thursday January 27, at the Zénith, with 9,000 spectators, is therefore maintained. Ditto Alain Souchon, who will be in the same room on Thursday February 3 in front of 4,000 fans.
“We expect a lot from what the government will say on Wednesday, explains Sylvain Baudriller, associate director of the Toulouse company Bleu Citron, which organizes a number of shows in France. We believe in a real recovery in September and it only lasted four months. We had to close rooms, certainly not completely, which resulted in a 50% drop in activity. »
In Toulouse, Bleu Citron was notably forced to postpone the concerts of Eddy de Pretto, PLK or “One night of Queen” at the Zénith et de Feu! Chatterton at the Bikini. “A gauge of 2,000 spectators at the Zenith simply does not exist, continues Sylvain Baudriller. We must reconnect with normal gauges (up to 11,000 seats at the Zenith, editor’s note) because, several studies have proven it: a theater with vaccinated people wearing a mask is not a more important place of contamination than ‘somewhere else. »
“The blur makes you crazy”
Boss of Euterpe, Michel Goudard is the main programmer of the Zénith and Arena in the region as well as the Barrière casino in Toulouse. He is on the same line of attack as his colleague: “These gauges are ridiculous, you have to blow them up and allow everyone to work normally again. Michel Goudard points to the financial but also psychological aspect of such a decision. “The concerns transmitted all the time have a terrible effect on people: we have not sold a ticket since Christmas and many spectators, even though they have bought their place, do not come the evening in question. When they take place, the shows do not produce their costs and they are very sad. »
On Wednesday, professionals are also waiting for this visibility which they have missed so much for two years. Michel Goudard sums up the general feeling as follows: “the vagueness drives you crazy”.
Will it really be up on Wednesday? Nothing is less sure. What pushes Sylvain Baudriller to see further. “Even with the end of the constraints, it will take months to return to a normal situation. All the restrictions have damaged people’s relationship to live performance, the mere fact of buying a ticket being associated with the idea of risk. We will need support and strong measures so that our sector, so hard hit, can recover. “.