November 28, 2021

The difficult return to a normal cultural life

This is the study that all cultural professionals have been waiting for. But she will not reassure them. On Wednesday October 27, Roselyne Bachelot was to unveil the results of a government-commissioned survey on the behavior of French people in terms of cultural outings, eighteen months after the start of the health crisis linked to Covid-19. Its conclusions, that The world was able to consult, are edifying: nearly one in two French people have not visited a cultural place since the introduction of the health pass on July 21, while 88% had done so before the epidemic, and nearly a third assure that they will now visit cultural places less.

This study, carried out in early September by the Harris Interactive institute, provides for the first time an overview of post-crisis cultural outings, beyond the attendance figures brandished by both sides. Since July 21, only 51% of people going to the cinema, usually at least once a year, have returned to the theater. Worse, barely more than a third (40%) of those familiar with museums have taken up the path of exhibitions, while those of historical monuments have done so at 45%.

But the bleeding is especially palpable in the live performance. Thus, only 27% of music lovers say they have attended a concert since the establishment of the health pass, while lovers of the boards were only 25% to return to the theater. The figures are only slightly higher for dance (31%) and the circus (28%). Likewise, nearly three-quarters of French people who went to a festival in a normal year did not return this summer.

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Difficult to find an audience

These figures, even if they come from a survey carried out in early September and may have already changed, support the feeling felt by professionals since the start of the school year. If a certain number of French people have found their way back to theaters, cinemas or museums, we are still far from the attendance levels before the epidemic. “This study confirms in every way what we are experiencing, considers Pierre-Yves Lenoir, co-director of the Théâtre des Célestins, in Lyon. Since the start of the school year, we have lost 40% of the public, on subscriptions as well as on ticketing. For a municipal theater like ours, with 25% of its own resources, the consequences are significant: if this decrease is confirmed, it will represent 800,000 euros less in the budget for the season. “

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