July 27, 2021

With the Indochina test concert, the hope of a return to normal cultural life

By Rémi Barroux

Posted today at 9:11 p.m., updated at 9:16 p.m.

The interior of the AccorHotels Arena concert hall, where medical teams are testing volunteers, three days before the Indochine concert in Paris, May 26, 2021. Seven thousand five hundred people residing in the Paris region, from 18 to 45 years, participate in the adventure, including 5,000 in the

To return to a large-scale concert, to participate in an experiment which should contribute to the return to a normal cultural life… There was no lack of motivation, Wednesday, May 26, at the exit of the Parisian room of the AccorHotels Arena, in Bercy, where the future spectators came to be tested to obtain their sesame in order to attend, on Saturday, the concert test of the group Indochine.

“It’s going to be the first big concert and, as a youngster, it’s nice to find that freedom again. Indochina? I know their main songs, but I go there mainly for the atmosphere ”, says Manon Fontaine, 22, an accounting student. Solène Choureau, in civic service in an association in Seine-Saint-Denis, also says her impatience. “I listen to all kinds of music, I am a student in a piano and singing conservatory. I inquired about the risks of contamination, but, from what I know, it will be fine ”, says the 21-year-old.

Manon Fontaine, 22, in front of the AccorHotels Arena, in Paris, May 26, 2021. “It's going to be the first big concert and, as a young person, it's nice to find this freedom again.  Indochina?  I know their main songs, but I go there mainly for the atmosphere, ”says the student in accounting.

The concert on Saturday, May 29, on which the Prodiss (the national union of musical and variety shows), the Assistance publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) and the Paris City Hall have been working for eight months, is not an ordinary show. In addition to the fact that it will be the first, since February 2020, to bring together 5,000 standing spectators, in the Bercy pit, therefore in a closed room, it must make it possible to define a health protocol avoiding any risk of epidemic outbreak in the resulting from this type of gathering.

Read also: Covid-19: the Parisian test concert officially scheduled at the AccorHotels Arena on May 29

An essential stake for Constance Delaugerre, virologist at Saint-Louis hospital in Paris, and co-pilot of the initiative. “We want to show that people attending the concert will not run a greater risk than those not present. It is a scientific experiment which should allow us to adapt the protocols to resume a normal cultural life ”, she explains.

Medical teams are testing volunteers in the hall of AccorHotels in Paris on May 26, 2021, before the Indochina concert on May 29.
An organizer transports boxes of tests in the hall of the AccorHotels Arena, in Paris, on May 26, 2021.

Saliva RT-PCR test

The Prodiss and AP-HP teams then worked to define a protocol, constantly amended to lead to the following scenario: 7,500 people residing in the Paris region (selected from 20,000 requests), aged 18 to 45 – which, for a music group like Indochine, born in 1981, and with many fans in the fifties and sixties, was not obvious -, participate in the adventure, including 5,000 in the “experimental” group , who will attend the concert, and 2,500 in the “control” group not attending.

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