Visiting Hellfest on Saturday evening, Rima Abdul Malak assured that these events could take place “under good conditions” despite the resumption of the epidemic.
Hellfest festival-goers in Clisson (Loire-Atlantique) received a visit on Saturday around 8 p.m. from Rima Abdul Malak, newly appointed Minister of Culture. After a conversation with Ben Barbaud, the founder of Hellfest and a stroll, the Minister attended the Gun’s N Roses concert. This year, after two years of Covid, this metal festival launched a double edition from June 17 to 19 and from June 23 to 26, expecting nearly 60,000 people each day.
She said she was confident about holding the festivals this summer, without “reduce gauges“nor others”constraints“, despite the resumption of Covid-19. After more than two years punctuated by the pandemic, France plunged again at the start of summer, like other European countries, into a new wave carried by new sub-variants of the Omicron family.
The Minister wanted to be reassuring
“There is a resumption of the Covid at the moment, you have to be very vigilant, wash your hands, resume barrier gestures (…), test yourself every time you have a doubt“, she first said. “However, we are vaccinated in France, normally we have no risk of putting back constraints or reducing the gauges. The festivals of this summer will, if all goes well, take place in good conditions“, she added.
Rima Abdul Malak pointed out that the seventh wave sub-variants are “very contagious but less violent in terms of symptoms“. And to remember,when you are a fragile person, you have to keep the mask on and be as careful as possible“. Another shadow hangs over the summer festivities: complaints of injections in nightclubs, bars and festivals are piling up across the whole of France. But the evidence is still lacking to determine the reality of these malicious acts.
“This phenomenon bothered me a lot.“said the minister. “In reality, it’s really a mystery, there is a phenomenon of psychosis more than a real phenomenon“, she said. “There are a few bites (not at Hellfest, no cases identified, editor’s note)it exists, but much less than the psychosis that came out of it“. “There’s no substance in these bites when they’re found, no aggression on the heels“, she insisted. “It would seem, once again, it is in the conditional because it is very mysterious, that it started from a challenge on social networks. Let’s not give in to psychosis“.
Rima Abdul Malak came to Hellfest because “it is the biggest festival in France“. After two editions canceled due to health crisis, the Hellfest offers this summer a double program, over seven days in total, attracting 420,000 spectators. “On a more personal note, the first concert of my life at 14 was the Guns N’Roses“, confided the minister. This group is scheduled for this Saturday and the minister has planned to see it again “29 years later“.
The Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak was also expected on Sunday evening at the Solidays festival. This year, the festival broke its attendance record with more than 247,000 festival-goers. This 24th edition thus beats the record dating from 2019, when 228,000 people made the trip for the last pre-Covid-19 edition. Solidays is not a current music festival like the others, since it helps finance the action plans of the Solidarité Sida association. Luc Barruet has been the boss of Solidarité Sida for 30 years, the association which created the Solidays festival to mobilize against the disease.