a few days of the national holiday, this should be the shot for the bombers French. Yet, despite the gradual recovery of the economy, the activity did not take off. "Since the beginning of the year, we had no show," laments Jacques Couturier, president of the companies, Jacques Couturier Organisation and Planet Fireworks. "The lemon Festival in Menton, and shows at Futuroscope theme park, Hellfest, on the 14th of July... We are subscribers to the word cancelled. "
If the health measures were gradually relaxed, the gatherings remain strictly supervised to prevent the spread of the virus. A context that is not conducive to the traditional pyrotechnic shows that light up the sky during the summer, and a hard blow for a sector that lives almost only in the summer period.
80% to 90% of the turnover in the summer
" in The summer, it is 80 to 90 % of our turnover, of which a good portion of the 13 and 14 July ", pointe Jean-Frédéric Dartigue-Peyrou, general secretary of the Union of manufacturers of explosives, pyrotechnics and fireworks (Sfepa). The big companies have diversified in recent years with live entertainment in the off-season for amusement parks, festivals or events, but the national day remains the highlight of the year for the profession.
The bombers have had a glimmer of hope in June. The déconfinement is down well, the government has finally allowed the prefects to allow case-by-case the fireworks on 14 July, with gestures barriers, distance or physical port of the mask. But "there has been a sharp braking of the prefects," says Jean-Frédéric Dartigue-Peyrou. "The conditions imposed are that, even if the prefect does not prohibit, the mayors are going to ban it," says Jacques Couturier. Between the security measures since the attacks, and the health measures, the organization quickly becomes burdensome to the municipalities.
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fixed Charges important
Even if the lights have not been learned, the bombers have spent the money to respond to calls for tender, designing the shows and have products in stock. "Some will be deferred, so our preparations have not served to nothing ", be reassured Jacques Couturier, who believes all the same its loss of sales to 100 % by 2020.
About 700 to 800 companies live off the pyrotechnics in France. Most of them have very few employees to full-time but use a lot of contracts one-time and intermittent workers to prepare the lights and shoot. The larger design of the lights on order direct with their customers, but also a catalogue of performances turnkey sold to smaller companies. "It is the whole industry that is not going to work this year. It is a big corporation that belongs to a group, so it is solid, but the small structures will be severely affected, " predicts Jean-Michel Dambielle.
" The fixed costs are still significant for the larger among us, who have stocks to manage ", he emphasizes. The storage sites of rockets, most of the time classified Seveso, require the staff for maintenance and security, which can only be set in " partial unemployment, even when the activity is stopped.
"A-term damage" to the sector
After you have done the mourning of the July 14, Ruggieri account on the amusement parks to save the end of the season. "The Puy du Fou, re-opened since the 11th of June, will take over the Cinéscénie, the 24th of July. It leaves us two-thirds of the season, " said a delighted Jean-Michel Dambielle. At Disneyland Paris, on the other hand, the nightly show daily which Ruggieri has the load is not expected to resume before autumn, despite the reopening of the parks on July 15.
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" This should allow us to do 20 %, maybe 30 % of our turnover this year. "The team now hope that the pandemic will slow down and that next year will be better. But Jean-Frédéric Dartigue-Peyrou warns : the context of the "catastrophic" for 2020 could deal a fatal blow to the small business sector. "This is not a black year that we may have, but a-term damage to the artifice of entertainment. "