The Beatles, Édith Piaf, David Bowie, Jacques Brel, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd are some of the greatest names to set foot at the stage of L’Olympia.
One of the most iconic venues in Paris since its re-opening in 1954, Olympia Hall was the most popular rock venue through the 60’s and continues hosting the best musicians of all genres today.
Like all venues, this long period of cancelled performances has been very difficult, but L'Olympia has survived tough times including 2 World Wars, so 2020 events should not end with this incredible place.
The music hall had closed on Mars 11. After 200 lonely days, L’Olympia opened its doors last Sunday, September 6th, with an emotionally-charged performance by Brigitte Fontaine. With all-new safety restrictions, a closed bar, social distancing measures, and plenty of hand sanitiser the show was another success!
Depending on the show, L’Olympia can remove the seats on the bottom pit for standing crowds so it can host up to 3000 people (2,000 for fully-seated events). This morning, we were told by the person working at the ticket booth that at their upcoming concerts the maximum number of people will be 1,300. Attendants who go together will be allowed to sit together, but social distancing rules will apply for the different parties.
We will perhaps be attending the concert of Mayra Andrade on September 23rd, but the show has not been confirmed yet. Anyhow, it is a good sign for this historic venue to adapt and allow some to enjoy the music that has been missing from our lives. It is always a good idea to check L'Olympia’s programme before your next visit to Paris because you never know what memorable performances await at the legendary stage. To further understand the significance of this venue as a trailblazer in the industry, let us remember some key moments of its history:
It was already in 1888, Joseph Oller, founder of the Moulin Rouge, who opened what would eventually become L’Olympia’s stage located at 28, Boulevard des Capucines. Just 300 meters away from the Paris Opera Garnier. Operating under a different name then, L'Olympia saw many operas, concerts and ballets until the economic crisis of 1929 halted the production of live shows. At that point the venue was transformed into a cinema and it was even used to house soldiers during the dark times of the Second World War. However, the stage would be restored to receive a new historic period of artistic expression.
In 1954 the new Olympia opened its doors with a new image but with the same classic seating arrangement configuration from before. The "O" of Olympia’s new logo is a Parisian symbol and represents the design of the capital's ring road.
In this metaphor, international artists understood that stepping into its stage meant stepping into Paris and local artists as their home. Many managements focused on different acts and often committed to the talent of an artist.
Like in 1961 when Édith Piaf held the stage over the course of three months or in 1964 when the young Beatles performed twice per day during three weeks before their North American tour (a total of forty-one performances)!
A classic that should certainly be considered for your next visit to Paris! https://www.olympiahall.com/programmation/