Music fans, journalists and industry executives were among casualties of the deadly attacks in Paris on 13 November. 89 people died at the Bataclan Theatre, attending a concert by US band Eagles of Death Metal, with responsibility claimed by ISIS. Most attacks were centred on the 11th arrondissement, in Paris’s inner north, a district frequented by young and progressive liberals, whom the terrorists appear to have targeted.
Concerts by U2, Prince, Foo Fighters and other were cancelled in the immediate aftermath, as tributes poured in from across the globe. Eagles of Death Metal put out a statement expressing their grief and shock, as did stars including Celine Dion, and tributes were paid to industry colleagues. The Metropolitan Opera showed its support by singing the French national anthem, and a German pianist immediately drove through the night to play his grand piano outside the Bataclan theatre the very next morning, ““I wanted to be there to try and comfort, and offer a sign of hope”, David Martello told the Guardian.
As the music world digests the impacts of these tragic events, concerns have inevitably turned to venue security, with Complete Music Update reporting increased security measures, including by major promoter Live Nation. In the US Newsweek reported beefed up security at venues, from rock concerts to opera houses, and Australian promoters have reportedly done the same.
In Paris, where live performance is integral to Parisian life, theatres reopened a few days later. Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota, director at Théâtre de la Ville, sent a message to subscribers with condolences, saying the night of the 13th “will remain etched in our memories”. He encouraged audiences to continue to attend the theatre as “the perfect place to continue to be, to dream, and hope.”
In the meantime The International Music Council has condemned terrorist attacks worldwide with a statement including this message:
“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”
– Leonard Bernstein
At Music Australia we too share this grief, and shock, express our sympathy and solidarity, and remain 100 percent committed to ensuring music is played, and heard, and undeterred – by all.