Sting reopened Paris’ Bataclan Theatre last night almost a year after the devastating terrorist attacks that left 89 dead and many more injured. The gig opened with song ‘Fragile’, followed by a minutes silence to remember those who lost their lives in the attacks.
Following the 2015 tragedy, many Parisians wondered if the venue would ever be reopened to the public. Event runners at The Bataclan seemed adamant that their theatre would survive as one of the cities top venues, stating in an official press release: “It will reopen, no question about it, Hearts will be heavy for a few months, a few years. But we will reopen. We will not surrender.”
Libertines frontman Pete Doherty was initially thought to be the first performer to open the newly renovated venue however, earlier this month it was announced that Sting would be performing four days before Doherty’s November 16 show.
Sting issued this statement before the show:
“In reopening 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.”
It is alleged that Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes was refused entry to the gig by the venues management. Hughes had been performing during the 2015 terrorist attack, but sparked outrage in the months following by suggesting that the Bataclan security staff may have aided the attackers.
Theatre manager Jules Frutos said of Hughes: “They tried to enter the venue and they are persona non grata. They are not welcome after what he said about the security.”