Sting reopens Iconic Bataclan Concert Hall in Paris

The former Police frontman is the first to take the stage in the venue since gunmen murdered 89 people there during the Paris terror attacks

Sting reopens Iconic Bataclan Concert Hall in Paris

Sting performs during filming of the Graham Norton Show at The London Studios. 19-Oct-2016 Image: Matt Crossick PA Wire/PA Images

Mourners have placed candles and flowers opposite the Bataclan concert hall in France as Sting reopens the venue on the eve of the anniversary of the Paris terror attacks.

The former Police frontman is the first performer to take the stage in the iconic venue since gunmen opened fire, murdering 89 people there on November 13th last year.

The massacre was part of an organised terror attack claimed by the so-called Islamic State that left 130 people dead in the city.

Security levels around the newly renovated venue have been high over the past week with scores of survivors expected to attend the show this evening.

Candles opposite the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, ahead of the venues reopening by Sting. Image: Catherine Wylie PA Wire/PA Images

 

Sting said the concert was to“honour” those killed in the attack a year ago with all proceeds from the show to be donated to charity organisations, Life for Paris and 13 Novembre: Fraternite Verite.

"In re-opening the Bataclan, we have two important tasks to reconcile,” he said in a statement on his website.

“First, to remember and honour those who lost their lives in the attack a year ago and second, to celebrate the life and the music that this historic theatre represents.

“In doing so, we hope to respect the memory as well as the life affirming spirit of those who fell. We shall not forget them."

 Sting: "Nous ne les oublierons pas - We will not forget them"

 

Bataclan co-director, Jules Frutos told the AFP news agency the difficult decision to reopen the venue was taken because “one night of tragedy” should not be allowed to wipe out decades of great musical memories.

“After a few weeks it was clear. We had to go on after such horror and not leave a mausoleum, a tomb,” he said.

“We owed it to ourselves to rebuild everything. It was obvious that it had to be rebuilt identically.”

"It was important we didn't change it as a venue, its past – that was why people loved it. One night of tragedy mustn't overshadow decades of parties and music,"

The 1,000 tickets for the concert sold out within 30 minutes of going on sale, with hundreds of tickets held back for survivors.

Sky reporter, Tom Rayner was at the gig:

Candles and flowers opposite the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, ahead of the venues reopening by Sting. Image: Catherine Wylie PA Wire/PA Images

 

The concert venue will be closed on Sunday - the actual anniversary of the attack - when a plaque is due to be unveiled in memory of those who lost their lives.

The 130 victims who died during the attack will be remembered in a series of events around the city over the weekend.