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Le Bataclan, Past And Future

12:01 PM Thursday 11/19/15 | |

Le Bataclan has, in its 151-year history, hosted ballet, theatre, traveling acts including “Buffalo Bill” Cody, movies and, in its most recent incarnation, artists of any and all genres. On Nov. 13, it became a slaughterhouse for terrorists who burst in, held hostages for five hours and murdered 89 people.

  • Le Bataclan

    EODM touring bassist Matt McJunkins tweeted a photo of LeBataclan minutes before the band’s Nov. 13 show. 

    (twitter.com/mattmcjunkins)

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Edith Piaf, Maurice Chavalier, Jeff Buckley, Serge Gainsbourg, The Clash, PrinceThe CureDaft PunkRosanne Cash, and Snoop Dogg have played there.

Whether Eagles Of Death Metal are the last artists to take the historic stage is unclear. It’s also unclear why Le Bataclan was targeted. A statement attributed to Islamic State terrorists called the concert hall a place “where hundreds of apostates had gathered in a profligate prostitution party,” according to the New York Times.

It has also been the target of occasional pro-Palestine protestors since 2002, demonstrating against the hall’s use for galas benefiting Israeli border police. But Jules Frutos of Alias Productions, which has co-managed Le Bataclan for more than 10 years, dismisses speculation of such motives, saying the hall has not been threatened with attack during the company’s tenure.

  • The Day After

    An investigator works outside the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.
    November 14, 2015

    (Christophe Ena/AP)

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“Unfortunately and traumatically this is about audience members who bought a ticket to hear an artist and are taken hostage and killed,” Frutos told the Times. “This has nothing to do with the hall’s past.”

Joël Touitou oversaw the venue for more than four decades, according to the Wall Street Journal. He sold most of it to French media conglomerate Lagardère SCA about two months ago.

Alias Productions owns a minority stake. “Words can’t express the scale of our sadness,” Alias co-owners Frutos and Olivier Poubelle wrote on Twitter. “No words suffice to express the magnitude of our grief. Our thoughts go to the victims, to the wounded, and to their loved ones.”

Mourners were also asked by the owners to stay away from Le Bataclan in the immediate aftermath of the attack in order for authorities to conduct their investigation, according to the Times.

“Many of you have wanted to gather in remembrance at the Bataclan. Unfortunately, the authorities still need to work at the site. We will keep you informed about when it will be possible to assemble in front of the hall. We thank you for your support, which touches us profoundly.”

Paris imposed a two-day moratorium on all concerts after the attack, and venues have begun to reopen including the Zenith, where Marilyn Manson canceled a Nov. 16 concert but Simply Red performed the next night. Live Nation’s Howl Festival, scheduled Nov. 19-20 at multiple venues including Le Bataclan, is canceled. When and if Le Bataclan will be able to reopen has yet to be addressed.

  • Paris Police

    Working outside the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.
    November 14, 2015

    (Amr Nabil/AP)

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The venue’s website displays only the public message, in English and French. All dates have been removed. However, Live Nation continues to list future dates and tickets remain on sale for a Dec. 2 Rae Sremmurd show, and a Feb. 15 Twenty One Pilots concert.

Rosanne Cash told the New York Times she would love to play there again.

“As soon as this happened, I called my manager and said, ‘We have to book the Bataclan this year.’”


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