France took one step forward in its return to normality as many of its cities turned into musical street parties on Sunday, as is customary every June 21st to celebrate the beginning of summer.
In towns and cities across France, artists set up booths in bars and restaurants and on street corners to perform for passers-by, all while maintaining health rules to avoid a resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But an open-air DJ concert at Villemin garden in Paris's 10th arrondissement has raised eyebrows given that several hundred partygoers huddled up at the event, most of them without face masks and not abiding by social distancing as had been required by France’s Ministry of Culture for the event to take place.
Paris police prefecture told Le Parisien newspaper that it was not asked to give permission for the five-hour “Apero électronique” concert to go ahead but that it had been approved by Paris city hall.
There were also protests staged in the western city of Nantes to demand answers about the death of Steve Maia Caniço, a 24-year-old teaching assistant who disappeared during the city’s Fête de la Musique last year.
This year, the prospects of maintaining the Fête de la Musique had looked bleak as France recently had begun to lift a two-month long strict lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
But after weeks of steady decline in key indicators of the spread of the virus, life has returned to somewhat normal and the music festival was allowed to go ahead.