Paris attacks anniversary: Sting reopens the Bataclan as part of memorial for victims of Isis atrocities

Singer conducts minute of silence before vowing: 'We shall not forget them'

May Bulman
Saturday 12 November 2016 22:58
Sting brings music back to the Bataclan one year after Paris atrocity

Sting has reopened the Bataclan a year after 90 people were massacred by Isis gunmen at a packed rock concert.

The English singer-songwriter and former Police frontman is staging the first gig at the 150-year-old venue since the deadly terror attack that took place on 13 November last year.

Greeted on the stage to loud cheers, Sting, 65, paid tribute to those who were killed in the venue and called for the audience to stage a minute’s silence in their honour.

Speaking in French, the musician said: “We've got two important things to do tonight. First, to remember and honour those who lost their lives in the attacks a year ago, and to celebrate the life and the music of this historic venue.

"So before we begin, I would like to ask that we observe one minute of silence ... We shall not forget them."

After the minute of silence, the star launched into a string of hits, beginning with his song 'Fragile', singing: "Nothing comes from violence and nothing will".

Sting also played popular hits Englishman in New York, Every Breath You Take, Roxanne and Message in a Bottle.

Laura Sanchez, 41, who travelled to Sting's show from Cadiz in Spain, was one of the first people to take up a position in front of the stage.

Ms Sanchez told the Press Association: “I come from Madrid and we also have a problem with terrorism. I think life must go on and continue. They want to stop us and no one has the right to stop us."

Her friend, Ricardo de la Vega, also 41, said this was his 45th Sting concert, having watched the star perform in Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and the UK.

An Italian man who lives in Paris, Stefano, who only wanted to give his first name, said: "Sting is part of our youth but we also decided to come because of the Bataclan. We hesitated at the beginning but we decided that life must be stronger."

Sarah Marrer, 18, from Lille, said it is important to ”show that we're not afraid“, adding: "I think it's important that every French person and everyone can come here and enjoy and show that it's not over."

Candles and flowers were laid next to the venue before the start of the concert in honour of the victims.

There was a heavy police presence outside the theatre and concert-goers were being searched as they entered the building on the eve of the anniversary of the attack, amid fears of new Isis plots against Europe.

Coordinated attacks around the city on 13 November 2015 killed 130 people in what has been the deadliest terror incident on French soil.

Isis suicide bombers - Frenchmen Omar Ismail Mostefai, 29, Samy Amimour, 28, and Foued Mohamed-Aggad, 23 - stormed into the concert hall as US rock band Eagles Of Death Metal performed, while attackers also targeted cafes and the Stade de France.

Additonal reporting from PA

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