Deconfined, freed from the mask and curfew, some French people were able to fully enjoy the Music Festival this Monday evening. Thousands of revelers – mostly young people – gathered around the music, ignoring health measures. A scent of taste from before as the epidemic recedes.
In Paris, especially in the center of the capital, crowded streets have welcomed revelers. The police intervened on several occasions to disperse gatherings of several hundred people, in particular in front of the Town Hall and at the level of the Invalides garden. At 11 p.m., the banks of the Seine were full of thousands of people, without masks or social distancing.
The health protocol of the Fête de la Musique planned by the government prohibited “to create a gathering of more than 10 people in the public space”, preventing in fact the holding of concerts outside, as is the case of habit. Only concerts inside bars and restaurants, subject to respecting the gauge, and concerts seated outside were authorized.
Overflows in Nantes
In Nantes (Loire-Atlantique), the Fête de la musique quickly degenerated. After a peaceful march of a thousand people in tribute to Steve Maia Caniço, who fell in the Loire during a police intervention during the Fête de la Musique in 2019, another rally was organized in his honor later in the evening. This event, at Place du Bouffay, finally turned into a free party around a hundred people. Clashes broke out between the chirkers and the police, who used tear gas. In Savoie, France Bleu echoed “scenes of riots” in Annecy, on the sidelines of the Fête de la Musique.
A music festival constrained by the weather
The Fête de la Musique also had to be canceled in several other cities, such as Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine), where due to weather conditions the town hall decided to cancel the event. “The outdoor scenes of the City and its partners are canceled,” had published earlier in the day the Town Hall. Thunderstorms which also got the better of the event in Tours (Indre-et-Loire).
In Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône), the prefecture had banned “festive musical gatherings” in La Plaine, not wanting to review the images of Carnival which had caused controversy in the midst of a health crisis. Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin) had indicated on Friday that there would be no concert organized, not because of the weather this time but because the new health instructions had been revealed too late.
This Music Festival took place this Monday in a particular context. Since Thursday, the mask is no longer compulsory outside, “except when we regroup,” had taken care to specify Prime Minister Jean Castex. Saturday was the last day with a curfew. The epidemic continues to decline in France, despite the threat of the Delta variant. 487 contaminations have been identified in the past 24 hours.