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The Fleche: saved!

Apr 30

Written by:
Thursday, April 30, 2009  RssIcon

We told you a while back about the imminent closure of La Flèche d’Or, the much-loved alternative music venue in Paris. Served with legal injunctions by neighbours due to excessive noise, and faced with renovation works it couldn’t afford, the venue was due to close definitively tonight (30 April), the expiry date of the present lease on the site, a disused train station.

La Fleche d'Or in its current stateWell, La Flèche d’Or is still closing tonight… but it’ll re-open in August. French daily newspaper Liberation  reports that two established Paris live music promoters will take over the lease, spend the summer months carrying out the expensive and extensive works needed to placate the neighbours – and relaunch the Flèche in four months’ time.

The two promoters, Alias Production and Asterios Spectacles (in French ‘spectacles’ are live events, not eyewear) run two other successful Paris venues, La Maroquinerie and La Bataclan, and their new challenge is to make the Flèche reasonably profitable. Until last September the Flèche was free to enter and served up three or four live acts and a late night club. Even with the recent introduction of a compulsory €6 drink purchase, it was still a good deal for punters. Now, though, the new owners intend to supplement the €6 standard charge with occasional concerts by established names where entry will be €15, in line with the usual ticket price at the Maroquinerie.

Meanwhile, the Flèche d’Or’s current staff of 40 are still uncertain about their future.

The Flèche had a similar closing/re-opening drama in 2005, and bounced back with an increased reputation as Paris’s top indie-rock venue. This time, though, will the new Flèche still have the same atmosphere and spirit as the old one? Considering the gentrification of the surrounding area, not to mention the introduction of more frequent full-price shows, it looks unlikely. Still, as long as the current workers can keep their jobs and the new venue puts on decent live music, we won’t complain.

See you up at the Flèche in August, then.

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Aidan Curran, based in Paris, has been writing for CLUAS since 2004. More info about Aidan...

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