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Eagles Of Death Metal Frontman Jesse Hughes Banned From Sting Bataclan Gig

Hughes was 'not welcome' at the Bataclan's reopening concert.

13/11/2016 09:31

Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes was turned away from the reopening of the Bataclan concert hall on Saturday night after the venue’s management said he was “not welcome”.

The US rock band were on stage on November 13 last year when it was stormed by so-called Islamic State militants, resulting in the deaths of 90 people.

British pop singer Sting, 65, performed at the venue’s reopening on Saturday, but Hughes and his manager were not allowed in, the Bataclan’s boss said.

Xavi Torrent via Getty Images
Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes was turned away from the reopening of the Bataclan concert hall

Jules Frutos, manager at the theatre, said the pair were turned away at the door.

Frutos told the Press Association: “They tried to enter the venue and they are persona non grata.

“They are not welcome after what he said about the security.” 

Earlier this year Hughes apologised for suggesting that security guards were complicit in the attack.

He told the Fox Business Network in March that six guards at the Bataclan never came to work on the night of the attack, and “it seems rather obvious that they had a reason not to show up”.

Referring to Hughes, Frutos said: “Even if he came back on what he said. I mean, this man is just sick. That’s all.”

Frutos said he thinks the band used what happened at the Bataclan to get “promotion”, asking: “Who did know about this band before?” 

He said the band’s attitude shows “no respect for the victims”. Frutos said the frontman and manager did not have tickets for Sting’s concert.

Charles Platiau / Reuters
Jules Frutos, pictured following the attacks on Nov 13, 2015, said Jesse Hughes and his manager were turned away at the door.

Afterwards his comments in March, Hughes released a statement which read: “I humbly beg forgiveness from the people of France, the staff and security of the Bataclan, my fans, family, friends and anyone else hurt or offended by the absurd accusations I made.

“My suggestions that anyone affiliated with the Bataclan played a role in the events of November 13 are unfounded and baseless — and I take full responsibility for them.”

There was a heavy police presence outside the theatre, which is in a fashionable district of the French capital, and revellers were searched more than once as they made their way in.

Suicide bombers - Frenchmen Omar Ismail Mostefai, 29, Samy Amimour, 28, and Foued Mohamed-Aggad, 23 - stormed into the concert hall last year as EODM performed, while attackers also targeted cafes and the Stade de France. In total 130 people died, including Briton Nick Alexander.

Alexander had been on tour with the American band selling merchandise and tried to play dead when he was approached by one of the gunmen who opened fire.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
A woman is being evacuated from the Bataclan concert hall after a shooting in Paris on November 13, 2015.

 Appearing on stage to loud cheers, Sting spoke French throughout to the packed crowd, saying: “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 including Englishman In New York, Every Breath You Take, Roxanne and Message In A Bottle.

His first song was Fragile, which one fan thought was ideal to open the show with.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sting performs on stage at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016.

Adel Denine, 42, from Paris said: “He said we should never forget how fragile we are. I think it was the perfect song.”

Denine said his family were worried about him going to the Bataclan on Saturday night, but he said: “I knew that after what happened here last year it was sure that numerous police would be here.”

Erika Duminy 41, from near Paris, was at the show with two friends who were at the EODM concert last November.

She said the night brought “a lot of emotions” and hailed Sting as “a good artist to begin the new Bataclan”.

Duminy, whose friend was shot twice in the shoulder last year, said her pals were confident that security would be tight.

“They knew that there was no place more secure tonight in Paris,” she said.

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.

“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,” she said.

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.”

All revenue from the show will be donated to Life For Paris and 13 Novembre: Fraternite Verite.

The Bataclan will play host to two gigs by Libertines frontman Pete Doherty, on Wednesday and Thursday, while Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour will play on Friday and Saturday.

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