how the French changed their cultural practices after two years of Covid-19

By Sandrine Blanchard

Posted on March 19, 2022 at 7:00 a.m., updated yesterday at 8:44 p.m.

End of the gauges, the mask and the vaccination pass… the conditions of access to cultural places have finally regained their normality. But what state of mind is the public in after these very long months of health constraints and the closure of cinemas, museums, performance halls, relegated during the Covid-19 pandemic to the rank of “non-essential” sectors? The Ministry of Culture was to carry out a new study this winter on the evolution of the behavior of the French in terms of cultural outings. The results, initially announced for February, have still not been made public and are unlikely to be before the presidential election. While cultural professionals are trying to revive the activity of their establishments, everything is happening as if the Rue de Valois wanted to avoid breaking their morale with possible bad attendance figures.

It must be said that the conclusions of the first survey, carried out at the beginning of September 2021 and published on October 27, had given the heads of cultural places a cold sweat. Since the reopening and the introduction of the health pass, only 51% of people who usually go to the cinema at least once a year had returned to the cinema, 40% of museum visitors had returned to exhibitions, only 27% of amateurs of music had attended a concert and the lovers of the boards were only 25% to return to the theater.

Read the survey: Article reserved for our subscribers The difficult return to a normal cultural life

What about today ? In an attempt to better understand the traces left by the health crisis in the evolution of cultural practices, The world launched a call for testimonials on its website on February 20. The return of a hundred Internet users provides a nuanced photograph of the changes caused post-confinement. Four profiles are emerging: there are those who have not rediscovered the desire to go out, those who have changed their habits under the effect of the discovery of streaming platforms, those who stand out but otherwise (without subscribe for several shows for example) and those who have returned to cultural places with frenzy as if to erase an imposed withdrawal. Above all, the end of the vaccination pass and the wearing of the mask, effective since March 14, gives hope of giving a boost to attendance. Because many of them testify that the constraints enacted in May 2021, when the establishments reopened, had scared them away.

Those who waited for the end of the mask and the pass

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