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French musicians rebrand as politicians in bid to bypass Covid rules

Artists jokily recalls themselves after it was confirmed that political meetings are not subject to capacity limits

French pop singer Julien Doré is among those to have rebranded his tour events as “political meetings” in a tongue-in-cheek way to get around the event capacity restrictions Pic: Melanie Lemahieu / Shutterstock

Musicians and comedians in France are rushing to “enter into politics” after the prime minister stated that Covid limits on the number of people allowed indoors at events do not apply to political meetings.

Artists quickly responded tongue-in-cheek to the rules, with many stating online that they were now “holding political meetings” and “launching campaigns” rather than comedy tours or concerts, so as to get around the rules.

Under the current Covid rules, most indoor events are limited to 2,000 people, while outdoor events have a 5,000-person limit.

Singer-songwriter, musician and actor Julien Doré tweeted “limits for gatherings: the measures announced do not apply to political meetings”, and then later posted his tour date poster on Instagram, with the title clearly changed from “In concert” to “In a meeting”.

Singer-songwriter Hoshi (real name Mathilde Gerner) posted a photo of herself wearing a suit and sitting in front of the French and European flag in the style of President Emmanuel Macron, with the caption: “It’s OK, I can do my concerts”, and a link below to Mr Castex’s quote on political meetings being exempt.

Singer-songwriter and actor Eddy de Pretto simply tweeted: “Allow me to introduce myself as the President of the Republic.”

Slam poet and lyricist Grand Corps Malade (real name Fabien Marsaud) posted a photo of himself on stage, previously used as a poster for his tour dates in Paris arena Zenith La Valette, with the words: “I am therefore now a presidential election candidate. All my meetings are still on.” 

He renamed the event “a campaign”.

Similarly, comedian and actor Jarry posted a black background with the words: “From now on my shows will become political meetings. So no limit. Jarry for President.”

It comes in addition to a decision from May 31, 2021, when constitutional court le Conseil Constitutionnel excluded political, union, and religious events from activities for which a health pass is mandatory.

This was confirmed on November 9, in addition to the statement: “The presenting of a valid health pass cannot be required for access to polling stations, or for political activities or meetings.”

The prime minister’s new rules, announced on December 27, also include a ban on standing events, such as concerts. Everyone entering an indoor event must be both within the 2,000 capacity limit and have a ticketed seat.

The consumption of food and drink indoors, such as in theatres and cinemas, is also banned.

Read more: Planes, buses, trains: France’s Covid rules for eating and drinking

The government is set to lay out a compensation package for businesses affected imminently, Mr Castex said.

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