For over 30 years, the summer solstice has brought together musicians in France in celebration of Fête de la Musique. They’ve played long into the night on the country’s streets and in its bars and parks, but now a tough clampdown on noise is threatening the success of tomorrow’s event, with dozens of venues in Paris planning a boycott.
Bar and club owners in popular areas including Oberkampf will remain shut tomorrow night in protest against what they call “abusive behaviour by the Parisian police” over noise level restrictions imposed throughout the year.
The boycott comes after Clément Léon R, the so-called ‘mayor of the night’, launched an appeal in early June for bars and clubs to “make no noise, no concerts and no DJ sets for Fête de la Musique…in protest against the abusive behaviour of the Paris police prefecture, the lack of interest from the Parisian council in the night, and the complaints by residents associations.”
About thirty bars in the nightspot area of Parmentier in the 11th district, including on Rue Saint-Maur, Rue Jean-Pierre Oberkampf and Rue Timbaud, will remain closed tomorrow night.
Hammoumi Selim, the president of the Village Timbaud, an association set up three years ago for the area's bars and clubs, said members have worked hard to try and combat noise over the past three years, but the police keep piling on the pressure.
“We have sound sensors, we’ve hired bouncers and set up a hotline for residents to call, but still the pressure continues to rise. The area is now in decline,” he was quoted on My TFI News as saying.
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Meanwhile, venues in the 17th, 18th and 19th districts will also stay closed to give their support towards what they describe on posters placed on windows as “political anticonvivialité in Paris the other 364 days of the year”.
Fête de la Musique was set up by the French Ministry of Culture in 1982 and takes places on June 21 each year.