In an extraordinary two-day charity event, actors and musicians are rallying behind those who have lost everything in the recent storm that devastated the Niçois hinterland

Update October 27, 2020:

Due to the continued aggravation of the public health situation in the French department of Alpes-Maritimes, and in the interest of all parties concerned, the organizers of Le Weekend Solidaire regret to inform the public of their decision taken today to postpone the event until further notice. Tickets that have already been purchased remain valid for a later date (to be announced), otherwise a refund may be requested through the organiser (see blow for details.)

The toll on life, limb, and property that Storm Alex left in its wake is heavy: Several weeks after the terrifying weather event on October 2, parts of the three valleys of La Tinée, La Roya, and La Vésubie are still cut off from the outside world. The Alpine communities in the French-Italian border region have still not finished recovering all their missing and dead, and material damages are in the hundreds of millions euros and counting.

Largely unaffected by the storm, the lower-lying coastal towns have come together in an impressive effort to collect critical supplies from food and water to generators, tools, machinery, clothing, bedding, farm animal and pet supplies, medical equipment, and hygienic products, which are transported to the remote mountain villages by helicopter and train, the only way possible.

Flood damage Breil sur Roya

Artists on the French Riviera did not want to sit idle and are mobilising in their own way. Over 200 actors, dancers, comedians, and musicians are currently organizing a weekend of solidarity in Nice, held on Saturday, 31 October and Sunday, 1 November at the Théâtre de Verdure and the Théâtre de la Cité. All funds raised will go to the victims and their families, some of whom lost not only loved ones but their entire livelihoods as well.

The musical event will also be broadcast live and relayed on social networks to go beyond the borders of the department, notably our Italian neighbors, and to also collect donations online.

This initiative, spearheaded by Niçois show producer Gil Marsalla’s Directo Productions, is all the more remarkable given that French culture workers and venues have been unduly impacted themselves by the pandemic. With live shows coming to a near standstill for months, many of them do not know what the future holds for them. To be back on stage for a weekend – of course under strict observation of all mandatory safety rules – is a particularly strong symbol of solidarity and sharing.

Le Week-End Solidaire Nice

Journalist/TV show host Bertrand Chameroy, standup comedian Laurent Barat, and cult quizmaster Julien Lepers emcee the events.

While the programme is still being finalised and more artists are announced daily, the preliminary line-up looks as follows at the time of going to press (also check the Ville de Nice website for more details as they become available) :

Richard Galliano ● Jean Félix Lalanne ● Medi ● Rébécca (Winner The Voice Kids 2020) ● Stéphane Brunello ● Sebastien Machado ● Baby J ● Miss America ● Miss Dey & The Residents ● Marjorie Martinez ● Anne Carrere & Guy Giuliano ● Jules Grison & Stéphanie Impoco ● Olivier Laurent ● Laure Giordano ● Eric Sempé ● Jean-Luc Danna ● Richard Cairaschi ● Stéphanie Paréja ● Philippe Villa ● Manu Carré ● Frederic Viale ● Sophie Desvergnes ● Francois Arnaud ● Jean-Marc Jafet ● Véronique Albouy ● Alexandra Miller ● Fabrice Soler ● Nice Jazz Orchestra ● Jude Todd ● Luc Ramirez ● Jason & Co ● Lynh ● and many other surprises…

Théâtre de la Cité

The Solidarity Village

To collect additional donations for the disaster victims beyond the ticket purchase, various animation booths as well as a refreshment bar will be set up inside the open air grounds of the Theatre de Verdure. A number of corporate sponsors are supporting the event.

Admission fee is 10€. Tickets can be ordered online. Online donations only are also accepted through the same secured link.

Masks mandatory at all times.

Beyond this artistic event, Gil Marsalla channels his organizational experience also into Les Week-Ends Solidaires. With the support of corporate sponsors, groups of volunteers can travel by train to the valleys on Saturdays to help with the clean-up efforts. Anyone in good health is invited to apply to participate.

We cannot help with removing tons of rubble or rebuilding infrastructure but this is a sort of group therapy, a moral support both for those who had to look on helplessly from afar and for those whose lives were impacted,” he says.

another grey line

Lead photo Anthony Delanoix on Unsplash; photo of flood damage in Niçois hinterland © Département 06; photo of Théâtre de la Cité courtesy Théâtre de la Cité

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