Sting reopens Bataclan concert hall one year after Paris massacre

Music lovers are excited to revive the scarred Bataclan theatre with Sting’s concert, which sold out within minutes of going on sale.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A woman walks near the Bataclan theatre at the Boulevard Voltaire in Paris on November 11, 2016, one year after the Paris terror attacks. Image: AFP.

Superstar Sting will reopen the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on Saturday, with a greatly symbolic show to commemorate the first anniversary of France’s fatal terror attacks.

Last year, terrorists went on a killing rampage in Paris which left 130 people dead. Attacks were carried out at Stade de France national stadium, cafe terraces and bars and restaurants. 

The night of horror began with three suicide bombers who blew themselves up outside the Stade de France national stadium. But the worst of the attacks across the city that night was the Bataclan massacre, where gunmen killed 90 people.

Many survivors of the Bataclan attack will attend the concert, the most important event in a weekend of otherwise low-key commemorations.

In comments published Saturday, France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls vowed to end " terrorism" once and for all.

"We have in ourselves all the resources to resist and all the strength to beat it!" warned Valls in a statement published by several European newspapers.

On Sunday, French President Francois Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo are set to reveal plaques to the victims outside the national stadium, the Bataclan and bars and restaurants targeted that night.

Sting wants to “celebrate the life and the music that this historic theatre (Bataclan) represents,” Batclan concert hall, Paris, November 12, 2016. Image: AFP.

A year later, nine people out of the almost 400 wounded in the rampage are still in hospital.

Music lovers are seemingly eager to revive the scarred Bataclan, as Sting's hour-long concert sold out within minutes of going on sale Tuesday.

Many survivors of the attack will also attend the concert, the most important event in a weekend of otherwise low-key commemorations.

"The whole world is going to see the Bataclan live again," said Jerome Langlet, of the venue's owners Lagardere Live Entertainment.

Although reopening the doors will mean reliving painful memories for many, Jules Frutos, who has co-run the venue for the last 12 years, told AFP: "We had to go on after such horror and not leave a mausoleum, a tomb."

Sting, 65, expressed his desire to "celebrate the life and the music that this historic theatre represents" and promised to donate proceeds to two charities set up to help survivors.

Since the attacks, the hall's devastated interior has been completely replaced, from the seats to the floorboards, with identical fittings.

"We wanted to change everything so nothing would remain of that terrible night," said Langlet.

Survivors, including members of Eagles of Death Metal, will gather outside the venue again on Sunday morning when Hollande and Paris Mayor Hidalgo reveal a plaque engraved with the names of the victims.

No speeches are expected.

The Bataclan will remain dark on the anniversary itself, before opening again on Wednesday for a series of concerts by British singer Pete Doherty, Senegalese star Youssou N'Dour and British Sixties legend Marianne Faithfull.

TRTWorld and agencies