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Several international artists, such as Caetano Veloso, Tom Jones, Ed Sheeran and Elton John, have started to tour Europe again, after 18 months of absence due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The first symbolic step of the long-awaited return takes place this Saturday, 28, at Paris Philharmonic, with the Brazilian star Caetano Veloso. “We had to anticipate and coordinate, because it’s not enough that a territory can receive a Brazilian artist, but that their entire European tour can be carried out,” Vincent Anglade, curator of the Philharmonic’s contemporary music program, explained to AFP.

“We have to pool resources together. Otherwise, the tour economy collapses like a house of cards,” he added. Caetano Veloso also performs in Hamburg, Brussels and Portugal.

The artist had planned to travel to Paris in the first half of the year, for the opening of the photographic exhibition “Amazônia”, by Sebastião Salgado, also from Brazil, at the Philharmonic of Paris.

“This exhibition is a call to protect the Amazon, preserve its riches and its peoples. Caetano has always been very committed to this cause and has a strong bond with Salgado. Unfortunately, the health context in May prevented us from inviting him, but we didn’t want to give up, and neither did he,” Anglade added.

For the Brazilian cycle, in October, the Philharmonic will have the presence of another MPB giant, Gilberto Gil. But, given the still serious picture of the global health crisis, organizers remain cautious.

“The end of October is a good date. It gives you time to organize your visit. But when someone tries to plan something for two months from now, there are many uncertainties with the health context,” added Anglade.

exceptional years

The Philharmonic had to renounce another great name in Brazilian music, Chico Buarque, for 2021. “The project was even more complex because we had a Brazilian artist accompanied by an English orchestral ensemble, for a European tour. All the lights were red, so we are working on a postponement until 2022”, revealed the curator.

In the coming months, Paris will host concerts by other great artists, British or American: Ed Sheeran, Black Eyed Peas, Tom Jones, In September; Elton John, in October; and the canadian Alanis Morissette, in November.

“It’s not a bet on the future. The real bet we made was the test event (with the group Indochine at the end of May), which showed that there was no increased risk of contagion during the show”, explains the director of Live to AFP Nation France, Angelo Gopee.

“We have the resources to control people with health certificates, which is an opportunity, not a limitation,” he said.

Other great artists, mainly Americans, will return to the stage first in the United States, before traveling to Europe in 2022. “Not all European countries have the same vaccination rate, and a European tour of just two or three countries is not interesting for very big artists, but 2022 and 2023 will be exceptional years,” predicts Gopee.

The appetite exists, remember. “We put up for sale tickets to a Billie Eilish concert for June 2022 in Paris, and the 15,000 tickets were gone in less than five minutes,” he exemplified.

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