In Paris, the former Tuileries Festival threatened for lack of land: “a catastrophe” for the fairgrounds, criticizes Marcel Campion

In Paris, the former Tuileries Festival threatened for lack of land: “a catastrophe” for the fairgrounds, criticizes Marcel Campion
In Paris, the former Tuileries Festival threatened for lack of land: “a catastrophe” for the fairgrounds, criticizes Marcel Campion

They were ready, already installed on site since the end of the Throne Fair in the spring. In the starting blocks a few days before starting the assembly of the 60 rides and stands, the fairgrounds learned this Friday morning, with astonishment, of the rejection of their installation in the Bois de Boulogne (16th century), consequence of a vote by the Council from Paris.

The “Summer Festival” was to be held from June 22 to August 25 on the lawn of La Muette. A 40,000 m2 site that the 54 fairground families know well, since it is here that they erect their structures during the Festival in Neu-Neu, at the start of the school year in September.

The sequence will not take place. A last minute decision that environmentalist and right-wing elected officials within the hemicycle justified for ecological and security reasons. An “incoherent” decision, criticizes Marcel Campion. The “king of the fairgrounds”, 84 years old, says he is outraged. “Everyone is surprised,” he whispers this Friday afternoon. We learned of this vote today, the way things are unfolding is scandalous just 20 days before the vote,” he insists.

“There was no ambiguity”

Last year, the fairgrounds of the traditional Fête des Tuileries – and its 2 million visitors – learned of the impossibility of organizing the 2024 edition in the garden of the 1st arrondissement due to the organization of the Olympic and Paralympic Games of Paris 2024. An announcement that the profession had already had difficulty digesting. “Agreements were finally reached with the interministerial delegation and the City of Paris in order to move the party to the Bois de Boulogne,” relates Marcel Campion.

Since then, the steps have taken their course. “There was no ambiguity, everything was on track, the contracts with security companies to guard the site were signed, the advertising posters printed, the locations reserved,” breathes the man who is also nicknamed the Gypsy CEO. There, it’s over. »

Historical organizer of the great Parisian funfairs, Marcel Campion shares the feeling of incomprehension of the profession. “The City proposes La Muette then this vote contradicts everything, explain to us! » The pill doesn’t work. “The year 2024 is a big disaster. »

It must be said that the fairgrounds have already had to limit themselves to one month of the Foire du Trône in the spring – instead of two -, again due to the Olympics and the arrival of military personnel on the Reuilly lawn (12th century). A shortened party and inclement weather which caused a loss of turnover of 70%, estimate the fairgrounds. Two summer months less of activity, it’s unimaginable.

Especially since they were only waiting for the “Summer Festival” to do it again. 54 families, or nearly 200 fairgrounds already installed since May on the Saint-Cloud lawn to begin assembly from mid-June. “I am sorry for all these families,” Marcel Campion reacted this Friday.

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