August 1, 2021

The cultural places lived in a tense atmosphere the beginnings of the health pass

They believed they were finally living again, seeing their spectators again. Share with them their enthusiasm after so many months of closure. The public returned timidly but surely. Wednesday July 21, it was necessary to cut back. Cinemas, theaters, concert halls … all places hosting more than 50 people are now obliged to request a public health pass. Between skepticism and disarray, the first hours of this constraint linked to the new outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic have affected the morale of the already dark cultural community.

How, indeed, to control without being intrusive and keep the playful and festive side? Especially since it was necessary to organize in disaster, in the middle of the summer season. Before the opening of the Théâtre Molière in the city center of Bordeaux (Gironde), the director, Xavier Viton, ensured “Apprehend terribly” this moment. So that his employees do not have to face any vindictive reactions from disgruntled spectators, he will take care of the controls himself. These new standards, he is not against, but their implementation is, in his eyes, ” staggered “:” It is not for us to verify these sanitary passes “, he blurted out.

The apprehension is also palpable in Avignon (Vaucluse), where the Festival is in full swing. The theaters posted the instructions: sanitary sesame or PCR test of less than seventy-two hours or antigen test of less than forty-eight hours. Fanny Laurent, administrator of the Théâtre des Lucioles, says that her team is on hold but fears the consequences of the new constraints on attendance. ” What takes time is that we have to check both the validity of the pass or the test but also to ask each spectator for proof of his identity ”- Wednesday at midday on TF1 the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, announced that the heads of establishment will not have to make this identity check. Same concern at the Théâtre des Halles, where Alexandra Timar, deputy director, evokes a drop in reservations, in particular from groups of young people who cancel their visit: ” The audience is quite understanding. This morning, out of 200 people, we refused entry to three who did not have a health pass. We try to keep the festive spirit, but with this side control, its pretty hard. “

“Finding the right way”

Too fast, decided in haste … criticism of the lack of preparation for this new protocol comes back as a leitmotif. At the Levat Convent in Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône), which is preparing to inaugurate the Ciao Moka festival, the instruction is to be ” soft “. “We give ourselves a week to find the right way”, argues Karine Terlizzi, director of Juxtapoz which manages the site. Here too, we wonder about the responsibility for the required controls: “This stresses the teams, raises questions: is it up to us to play the role of the State, to be the police? “, points to the Marseillaise. In this place located in Belle-de Mai, one of the most popular districts, we fear the impact of the new measures on a local public already difficult to seduce. “It is a population for whom vaccination is not necessarily easy to envisage. Is this going to cut us off from her? “

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