On the eve of the first anniversary of the deadly Paris terror attack, the famed music venue reopens on November 12, 2016 with a Sting concert.
No one will ever forget that murderous night of Friday, 13 November, 2015 when in Paris a coordinated series of IS terror attacks cost the lives of 130 people. The Bataclan, one of the City of Light’s most popular music venues, was hit the worst – 89 people were killed here during a concert by American band Eagles of Death Metal. Almost a year to that day, the historic theatre is slated to reopen on 12th November with an exclusive concert by English superstar Sting. 1,000 family members of victims have been invited to join the audience of 1,500.
“In re-opening the Bataclan, we have two important tasks to reconcile. First, to remember and honour those who lost their lives in the attack a year ago, and second to celebrate the life and the music that this historic theatre represents. In doing so we hope to respect the memory as well as the life affirming spirit of those who fell. We shall not forget them,” said Sting in a public statement. The artist will be joined by a 3-piece band including Dominic Miller (guitar), Vinnie Colauita (drums) and Rufus Miller (guitar), performing songs from his new album 57th & 9th.
Tickets for the show go on sale on Tuesday, November 8th at 10 a.m. CET via the Bataclan website. The singer has pledged ticket proceeds to Life for Paris and 13 Novembre: Fraternité Verité, two organizations offering aid to the attack’s victims and their families.
The decision to reopen the Bataclan a year minus one day after the horrendous event was made to avoid conflicting schedules with the remembrance ceremonies across Paris on 13th November, the actual anniversary of the attack. The theatre’s interior has been rebuilt exactly as it was before the attack. “We changed everything in order to change nothing,” Jêrome Langlet, owner of the Bataclan told the press, meaning that every last bit of furniture, material and fabric has been replaced with an identical item so that the venue’s original spirit would remain intact. The Bataclan was originally designed in 1864 by prominent architect Charles Duval as a café-concert, later a theatre and a cinema, and has since the early 1970s been a legendary venue for rock music.
Sting is the first in a series of musical super acts at the reopened Bataclan, with Peter Doherty, Youssef N’Dour, and Marianne Faithful – to name but a few – right behind him.
The Bataclan has had a colorful 151 year history, during which it has reinvented itself multiple times. Originally designed in 1864 by prominent architect Charles Duval as a Chinoiserie-style café-concert, it later served as a theater and a cinema, and has since the early 1970s been a legendary venue for rock music. Performers from Buffalo Bill to Edith Piaf, Iron Maiden to Snoop Dogg, have graced the stage over time, and many an international career was launched here, like that of David Guetta.
The Bataclan’s new mission statement demonstrates fierceness and an indomitable will to survive in the face of adversity.
“By reopening a year after the November 13 terror attacks, the Bataclan reconfirms what it has always been: a reflection of Parisian culture and lifestyle, regardless of what happens, what event, what crisis, what disaster is hitting the city. This theater has lived through revolutions, scares, battles around style, and storms. It has known glory, bankruptcy, oblivion, and every single time, it has made it back to the top.”
Reopening is also testimony to the resilience of the French people and its determination not to give in to the fearmongering and brutality of a terrorist group seeking to destroy Western values and culture. “Même pas peur”, (Not One Bit Afraid) has been the joint slogan after every attack the country has suffered in these past couple of years – Paris, Nice, Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. France may be bitterly divided politically right now but it stands united in its fight for personal freedom, and that of the arts, culture, and enlightenment.
50, boulevard Voltaire
Lead image courtesy Bataclan website