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CONDOMS

Festival condoms cause contoversy in Condom

A festival in South West France has annoyed the local authorities by producing paraphernalia based on its host town’s namesake – a condom.

The Bandas Festival, hosted in Condom, 120km from Toulouse, has had 3000 condoms made in its trademark colours, red and green, to promote the event.

President of the festival, Pierre Verduzan, says the souvenir is also to protect the health of festival goers.

Famed for being a place for romantic encounters, the Bandas festival’s free condoms will be distributed with the aim of reducing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

But Condom’s town hall, which fights a never-ending battle to distance the town from its meaning in English, is not happy with the decision.

It is already going to court to oppose a condom maker placing the town’s logos on its deluxe condom packet.

The Bandas Festival is taking place from 11 to 13 May.

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FESTIVAL

France’s Fête de la musique ‘will go ahead, with masks and a curfew’

France's famous summer music festival the Fête de la musique will go ahead, but with health restrictions in place, says the culture minister.

France's Fête de la musique 'will go ahead, with masks and a curfew'
Photo: ABDULMONAM EASSA / AFP

Culture minister Roselyn Bachelot, taking part in a Q&A session with readers of French newspaper le Parisien, confirmed that the annual summer festival will go ahead this year on its usual date of June 21st.

The festival date is normally marked with thousands of events across France, from concerts in tiny villages to huge open-air events in big cities and street-corner gigs in local neighbourhoods.

Last year the festival did go ahead, in a scaled-down way, and Bachelot confirmed that the 2021 event will also happen, but with restrictions.

She said: “It will be held on 21st June and will not be subject to the health passport.

“People will be able to dance, but it will be a masked party with an 11pm curfew.”

Under France’s phased reopening plan, larger events will be allowed again from June 9th, but some of them will require a health passport (with either a vaccination certificate or a recent negative test) to enter.

The Fête de la musique, however, is generally focused around lots of smaller neighbourhood concerts.

The curfew is being gradually moved back throughout the summer before – if the health situation permits – being scrapped entirely on June 30th.

Bachelot added: “I appeal to everyone’s responsibility.

“The rate of 50 percent of people vaccinated should have been reached by then, so we will reach an important level of immunity.”

The Fête de la musique is normally France’s biggest street party, with up to 18,000 events taking place across the country on the same day.

It’s hugely popular, despite being (whisper it) the idea of an American – the concept is the brainchild of American Joel Cohen, when he was working as a music producer for French National Radio (France Musique) in the 1970s.

By 1982 the French government put its weight behind the idea and made it an official event and it’s been a fixture in the calendar ever since. 

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