800,000 expected at French rock icon's concert
Up to 800,000 people were expected at the foot of the Eiffel Tower for a free concert by French rock icon Johnny Hallyday.Paris – Up to 800,000 people were expected at the foot of the Eiffel Tower for a free concert by French rock icon Johnny Hallyday on France's Bastille Day national holiday on Tuesday, police said.
The concert in the Champ de Mars park will close with a fireworks display to mark the 120th anniversary of the tower, the world's most visited tourist attraction, which draws some six million people each year, organisers said.
The gig is part of a farewell tour by Halliday, France's answer to Elvis Presley, and is part of nationwide 14 July celebrations that include the annual military parade on the Champs Elysees in Paris.
The national holiday also sees fire stations across the country opening their doors to host dances for all to attend.
14 July also marks the 220th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress in Paris by revolutionaries in 1789. It was the symbolic starting point of the movement that led to the first French republic.
The Eiffel Tower was originally intended to be taken down after 20 years, but the authorities decided to let it stand, first for use as a radio communications tower and then as a landmark in its own right.
Designed by engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built for the 1889 universal exhibition in Paris and initially dismissed as an eyesore by many Parisians.
AFP / Expatica