For 12 years and counting, the “Jazz at Courts & Gardens” (“Jazz in courtyards and gardens”) competition has been a mainstay of summer season life in Lyon, holding free stay music occasions in and across the French metropolis, typically in areas not usually open to the general public.
However in 2020 when the pandemic hit, the competition, which is generally held in June, needed to pivot. And in opposition to all odds they managed to re-open in September, as France emerged from lockdown.
“It lasted three days as an alternative of six, we placed on half the variety of live shows – besides we had many spectators,” says François Dumont d’Ayot.
Self-described as a “poly-instrumentalist”, Dumont d’Ayot is understood for his prowess as a jazz musician and his talent on the saxophone, amongst many different wind devices. He’s additionally the director of “Jazz à Cours & à Jardins”. He spoke to Euronews Tradition concerning the feeling of elation folks felt after they might lastly maintain the competition in 2020.
“Folks had been blissful to lastly be capable of exit, to lastly be capable of meet up with one another, even with masks, even with hydroalcoholic gels,” stated Dumont d’Ayot. “We had been the one competition which maintained its programming – albeit with a diminished presence – in 2020 in Lyon.”
“For greater than six months we had been confined, we weren’t allowed to exit … and now for the primary time we might collect collectively and have fun. It was actually very emotional, each for the spectators, and in addition for us who organised the competition.”
Quick ahead two years although, and the image isn’t wanting as rosy.
The competition was held this yr in June, however noticed an enormous drop in attendance – within the order of a 25 per cent fall within the first week, in response to Dumont d’Ayot. When in comparison with different native festivals, there now appears to be a “desertification” pattern amongst members of the general public, he says.
“Is there a concern once more of the unfold of Covid? Which may be the case,” he stated. “One other rationalization may very well be that individuals misplaced the behavior of going out throughout Covid, and this now continues.”
Artists and cultural employees in Europe had been hit laborious in the course of the pandemic. In accordance with the European Parliamentthe cultural and inventive sectors had been hit more durable than tourism, with revenues down greater than 30 per cent in 2020 in comparison with 2019. The music sector misplaced 75 per cent of its turnover, and the performing arts sector much more with 90 per cent.
“We’re within the tail of the comet”
The way forward for stay music doesn’t fill Dumont d’Ayot with a lot hope. He likens the place the stay music scene is now as being “within the tail of the comet” – that’s, trailing within the wake of a momentous occasion.
“The comet is Covid, and now we’re within the tail of the comet, within the mud which descends – and on this mud many issues drown, disappear; I concern that at the moment many artists can now not make a residing from their artwork.”
The outlook is especially worrying for youthful artists who don’t have the identical identify recognition as extra established musicians, says Dumont d’Ayot.
“You all the time have the large names just like the Rolling Stones and so forth who can proceed to play,” he says. “However other than these well-known names, I believe many younger artists have a tough time making a reputation for themselves; discovering live shows, discovering gig venues and programming – that’s turn into very laborious.”
Dumont d’Ayot thinks that individuals have shaped the behavior of watching occasions and live shows on-line in the course of the varied lockdowns, and this can be a tough behavior to interrupt.
“As we speak, the general public doesn’t need to go to live shows, they need to go to live shows at dwelling, on the web, on YouTube or comparable platforms. That’s what we’ve sadly seen throughout Covid,” says the musician.
To ensure that folks to return to stay venues there must be a “renewal of confidence”, he says, including that it could be essential for “the spectre, the phantom of Covid” to vanish.
“Actually I don’t know. The longer term is stuffed with questions, and to inform you the reality, I’m not essentially optimistic. Sure I’m a bit scared.”
Dumont d’Ayot leads the jazz quartet ]FD’A[4tet. His group is subsequent set to carry out on Saturday 23 July as a part of Lyon’s “Tout L’Monde Dehors” cultural competition.