PARIS (AP) — Sting is to headline the first concert at the Bataclan theater in Paris since it was targeted in Islamic State attacks a year ago that killed 130 people.
The British singer will perform Nov. 12, the night before the first anniversary of the attacks on the Bataclan, Paris cafes and the national stadium.
Most of the victims were killed in the Bataclan after three men laden with explosives and toting Kalashnikovs stormed a concert by California band Eagles of Death Metal, firing indiscriminately at revelers and turning the dance floor into a sea of blood and body parts.
Families of victims and those injured have been invited to the Nov. 12 concert, and proceeds will go to groups for attack survivors and loved ones of those who were killed.
“In re-opening the Bataclan, we have two important tasks to reconcile. First, to remember and honor those who lost their lives in the attack a year ago, and second to celebrate the life and the music that this historic theater represents,” Sting said in a statement. “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.”
In an emotional announcement Friday in Paris, Bataclan director Jerome Langlet said he hopes the theater can regain its role as one of Paris’ leading music venues — and not remain forever a reminder of tragedy.
The theater has been entirely refurbished, and government security officials on Thursday gave the go-ahead to re-open it to the public, Langlet said.
Earlier the Bataclan had said the first concert would be by Pete Doherty on Nov. 16, but it decided to open before the attacks anniversary instead, with Sting as the headliner.
The Bataclan, with a capacity of 1,400, has 24 concerts scheduled in the coming months.
France remains under a state of emergency.