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Rave at the palace: Macron resumes pre-Covid gig

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French President Emmanuel Macron looks on as he attends a meeting with nightclubs representatives at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, on June 21, 2021. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP)


French President Emmanuel Macron invited music fans to a socially distanced techno party at the presidential palace on Monday, resuming a pre-Covid tradition to mark the country’s annual street music festival.

France celebrates music in all its forms annually with a giant street party on June 21, the longest day of the year.

In 2018, Macron began throwing open the cobbled courtyard of the Elysee Palace to dance fans on June 21, with a gig featuring stars from France’s electro scene.

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To mark this year’s festival, his government announced that nightclubs, which have been closed for 15 months, will be allowed reopen on July 9.

Clubbers will, however, have to present a new health pass showing they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, have a clean PCR test or have already had the virus.

Masks will not be obligatory in clubs, which will only be allowed to operate at 75 percent of their capacity, Alain Griset, the minister in charge of small businesses, said.

This year’s Fete de la Musique comes a day after the government scrapped an 11:00 pm curfew, one of the last steps in a phased lifting of Covid restrictions.

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Last year’s festivities went ahead but were muted because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, with the number of infections at their lowest level in nearly a year the country is in party mode once more.

French electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre and 1970s disco king Cerrone will headline the concert Monday evening in the palace courtyard, where Macron normally greets visiting heads of state.

In contrast to previous editions, where Macron and his wife Brigitte have gamely joined in the dancing, this year’s event looks set to be a more staid affair.

Attendees will be asked to remain seated and social distancing will be observed.

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