Words can not describe the terrors that happened less than 6 months ago in France, where a series of coordinated terror attacks struck upon the northern suburbs of Saint-Denis that caused the death of nearly 150 people and injured over 500 individuals. However from the ashes things can arise anew and you can rebuild, trying each time to make better and better. Positive light is slowly coming out when just yesterday, according to Stereogum, The Bataclan — the historic Paris music venue which was the site of the horrific incident in November that killed 89 people — plans to reopen for concerts before the end of the year, according to ABC News. In a statement today, the club’s owners said that “we’ll do our best to host events before the end of 2016.”.
Established in 1864 by architect Charles Duval as a large cafe-concert in the Chinnoiserie style, this venue has seen much of history pass through its doors. Its name originates from Ba-ta-clan, which was an operetta written by Jacques Offenbach, and is also a french pun tout le bataclan (“all that Jazz”) providing a fitting description on its checkered past, having so many ups and downs but always coming back together in a beautiful way. Concerts were held there but it was best known for putting on the vaudevilles of Eugène Scribe, Jean-François Bayard, Mélesville, and Théophile Marion Dumersan, constantly changing hands, over the next few years the building experienced both good and bad luck, and many changes in ownership.
It was not until the 1970’s where the venue started booking rock acts, and many famous performers from all around the world and every possible part of the music spectrum have played there since, becoming one of the top halls in the world to see shows like The Velvet Underground, Robbie Williams, The Police, Prince, Genesis, Phish, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Black Keys, Foo Fighters, Snoop Dogg, Oasis, The Cure, Alice Cooper, Backstreet Boys, Metallica, The Smashing Pumpkins, Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses, Cyndi Lauper, The Roots, Kendrick Lamar, and so many more to add to such an impressive list. Live recordings have been made here, it became a location for a very eclectic programme of events, including rock and pop concerts, spectacles, comedy, discos and of course café-théâtre. Unfortunately, it also became a target for many anti-Zionist activists, due to its Jewish owners Pascal and Joel Laloux who have managed the theater for 40 years often holding pro-Israel events, leading to one extremist group called “Army of Islam” threatening the Bataclan in 2011 just because its owners were Jewish. This escalated to the worst extreme this past November where several gunmen conducted a mass shooting killing and injuring concert attendees.
An Austrian duo, the White Miles, had completed their performance, and the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal were in the midst of their performance when three gunmen wearing suicide belts entered the theatre, firing at people at random, and taking hostages, as a result of the attacks, 89 people were killed and over 200 were wounded. On 16 November, the Bataclan management issued a statement that stated that the theater would close indefinitely. It read, “No words suffice to express the magnitude of our grief. Our thoughts go to the victims, to the wounded and to their loved ones. Many of you have wanted to gather in remembrance at the Bataclan. Unfortunately, the authorities still need to work at the site. We will keep you informed about when it will be possible to assemble in front of the hall. We thank you for your support, which touches us profoundly.”
However, with much pleasure and extreme excitement, the venue has announced that it will once again be opening its doors to the public, this statement has given new hope to the citizens that they can rebuild and grow from the tragedies. There is no set date on to when the establishment will be completed with the repair, besides for the strongest attempts to have it done by the end of the year. Without doubt the historical venue will have its reopening night be one for the ages, to reclaim its spot as a must go to venue in the entertainment sphere.