Prodiss and SMA, two of France’s live industry associations, have initiated legal action to annul plans laid out in a document that states live events would be forced to pay the government back for policing costs.

The so-called ‘Collomb circular’, the proposal that was put forward by interior minister Gerard Collomb, would mean festivals would need to reimburse the government for the cost of deploying police and gendarmes, which was previously covered by the state.

The proposal states that the live events would be billed for anything other than terror-related incidents.

A release from Prodiss said: “This circular presented show organisers with a fait accompli even as a consultation was in progress between the government and (event) professionals. None of the feedback from the professionals was taken into account in this decision.

“It is inconceivable that this decision was made without having previously measured the impact on the sector.”

The Syndicat des Musiques Actuelles (SMA), a music-industry trade union, said the move would “endanger the sustainability of cultural events” by burdening them with “significant” new costs.

Together with Prodiss, SMA has put forward an appeal with the French court of first instance, the Administrative Tribunal, pursuing an annulment of Collomb’s proposals.

“In concrete terms, these expenses endanger the perpetuity of cultural events, and the ADM fears the disappearance of independent festivals, but also the fragility of festivals in general,” the unions said in a statement.

“It should also be remembered that these new costs come to be combined with the end of the assumption of security costs by the emergency fund, since it has expired at the end of the year.”

Image: Rog01