Wednesday, May 23, 2007

American Country Music Festival Axed in Paris

An American country music festival in Paris has been postponed after the organisers received several anti-American threats.
The festival, called Three Days in America, was supposed to take place next weekend in the Parc St Cloud, in a suburb to the west of Paris. An international event, which last year drew more than 15,000 people, the festival celebrates the American lifestyle with a mixture of live gospel and country music, line-dancing, tributes to Elvis Presley, exhibitions of American cars and spectacular fireworks.
Chantal Tenot, a spokeswoman for the event, said: "We don't know who is behind it, and we can't be sure of a motive but it could just as much be an expression against [President Nicolas] Sarkozy as against America. Some people think that if you like America you must also like Sarkozy.
"Our chief concern is to not let security issues ruin this great event. The letter contained threats to the families of the organisers, we couldn't ignore it."
The threats came as a surprise to many Americans living in France, such as Clare Pickett. She said: "I'm really surprised and saddened by this. When I studied here in 2004 I found there was a really palpable anti-American feeling. Of course, the war in Iraq really stirred people up, but I thought it had died down."

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