The most spectacular theatrE in the world

Created in 1947 by Jean Vilar, the Avignon Festival is nationally and internationally recognized as one of the most important cultural rendezvous of France.

The Avignon Festival

Founded in 1947 by Jean Vilar, the Avignon Festival is today one of the most important international events in the contemporary performing arts.

Every year in July, Avignon becomes a city-theatre, transforming its architectural heritage into various performance places, majestic or surprising, welcoming tens of thousands of theatre lovers of all generations (over 130 000 entries). Often on vacation and coming from afar, many spectators spend several days in Avignon and see some of the shows among the multitude of theatre plays, dance, and also visual arts and music. The Festival succeeded the original combination of a popular audience with international creation. Avignon is also a spirit: the city is an open forum, where festival-goers speak and share their experiences to spectators. For a month, everyone can have access to a contemporary living culture.

The IN Festival :

  • presents each year between 35 and 40 different shows, French and foreign, for about 300 performances. Many of these shows are creations or premieres in France
  • organizes meetings around performances with Festival artists, readings of unpublished texts, film screenings, exhibits that allow the viewer to better meet the work of the artists presented by browsing the different angles.
  • turns twenty places, usually heritage and outdoor, in scenic places, varied in their architecture and their number of seats, from 50 to 2000.
  • delivers between 120,000 and 140,000 tickets for paid performances and hosts between 20,000 and 40,000 spectators in its free events. The spectators come for about 33% from the Avignon region, 25% from the Ile-de-France, 32% from other French regions and 10% abroad.
  • brings together more than 500 French and foreign journalists who write more than 2,000 articles on the Festival. TV shows or live radio are held there. All the major print media send correspondents there. Fifty photographers also cover the event.
  • brings together nearly 3,500 arts professionals from around the world, to organize meetings on arts and cultural policies. A true professional forum, the Festival organizes daily debates attending the confrontation of ideas and perspectives that constitute this unique moment in European cultural life. Published in 20,000 copies, a guide performing arts professional lists day after day these appointments. Initiated in 2007, the European Meetings offers, moreover, a space for reflection to consider allowing the European project through the prism of art and culture.
  • publishes each year 50,000 preliminary programs and 90,000 programs. In July, 50,000 spectator guides (agenda Festival free events) are distributed locally. The website, in French and English, is growing in attendance (822,000 visits in 2012) and the Festival's Facebook page, created in June 2010, has over 26,000 fans.


The OFF festival :

Alongside the IN festival, a spontaneous theatrical space  has developed, "invented" in 1966 by André Benedetto.

The "OFF" festival, which comes from the spirit of 1968, has grown by investing nearly a hundred places  transformed into theater spaces.

The OFF, alternative festival, has become a must in the national cultural landscape. This is one of the biggest festivals of independent companies in the world.  It hosts a large and passionate public.

For example, the 2014 festival witnessed 1533 playing shows in which all styles were represented: theater, music, dance, puppetry, object, poetry, circus, clown…