Security of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games: can the Gard festivities be canceled this summer ?

Security of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games: can the Gard festivities be canceled this summer ?

Les fêtes votives et les traditions pourront-ils être sécurisées à l'approche et lors des JO de Paris ? Archive Giacomo Italiano

La mobilisation de la police, gendarmerie, mais aussi de secouristes, sociétés de sécurité et sapeurs-pompiers pour les Jeux Olympiques de Paris cet été pourrait mettre en péril des fêtes votives dans le Gard.

The organizers of votive, traditional festivals and cultural events which punctuate the Gard summer and attract crowds will be in difficulty this summer in terms of security. Indeed, the Paris 2024 Olympic Games (July 26-August 11) and the Paralympic Games (August 28-September 8) will attract a maximum of police officers, gendarmes, private security companies, rescuers and firefighters.

A real headache which worries the National Federation of Committees and Organizers of Festivities, whose headquarters is located in Toulouse.

Let it be the end of February for the organizers

Its deputy president Arnaud Thénoz is holding multiple meetings in Paris, at the highest levels, at Matignon, to avoid any unpleasant surprises: "For example, in Nièvre, 35 to 40% of the police will remain in the department because the rest will be deployed to the Olympic Games in Paris. With such a percentage, which may be the same in Gard, we cannot ensure the security of all the festivities. (…) We ask that there be a readjustment of the circular from the Ministry of the Interior of December 2022. The rewriting is well underway. The goal is for this to be clear to the organizers by the end of February. I regret once again the lack of anticipation."

The FNCOF has taken up the subject and is looking closely at the situation in Gard, a land of votive festivals, "specificities, traditions. We work with the Youth Union of Provence and Languedoc to defend our traditions, the Camargue Race Federation, and mayors' associations. We know that we cannot change the dates of votive festivals, the programming of bullfighting activities because there are traditions, a precise calendar."  

The health crisis in our memories

Small votive festivals in rural areas are thus threatened with cancellation, especially during the Olympics. Indeed, the police remained in the departments of Hérault and Gard could be more focused on the coast, where there are large crowds. A rule which would concern tourist departments.

The FNCOF indicates that it is working to avoid the scenario of cancellations and remove the specter of the years of health crisis from 2020 to 2022: &quot ;The organizers ask us, the artists too, the service providers without return of signed contracts. A party is prepared several months, sometimes a year in advance, recalls Arnaud Thénoz.

The first consequences of the Paris Olympics will be felt from April 15 and the first secure passages of the Olympic flame in the departments (which is the case in Hérault, but not in Gard). 

Danger of the last weekend of July

The situation will be more complicated from June 15 to September 30, more so during the last weekend of July. Asked, the Gard prefecture reminds that the organizers, the municipality or the festival committees, are responsible for the security of their festivities.

But what will be the doctrine if small rural communities in Gard do not have the assurance of having, particularly in the middle of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the required security ? "Some prefects are holding consultations. We saw that a halt to the holidays, during the Covid crisis, had led to a lack of win important. Some had difficulty restarting", warns the delegate president of the FNCOF. There is still time to save the festive Gard summer.

Concern for insurance

Last year, insurance managers stepped up to the plate to worry about the position of insurance companies which no longer plan to insure them, which endangers bullfighting events. Bull breeders believe that it is not up to them to take responsibility for their animal but to the public who puts themselves in danger.  

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