When All of Avignon is a Stage…

The Festival d’Avignon and Off Festival are the Biggest Arts Festival Events in Vaucluse:

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A Performance in the Palais des Papes square

For theatre-lovers, July is the prime time to visit Avignon when for three full weeks the whole of Avignon becomes a stage for the Festival d’Avignon and the Off Festival.

Festival d’Avignon

The Avignon Festival is the biggest cultural event in the Vaucluse département and a major event on the French festival of the arts calendar. The Festival was founded by Jean Vilar in 1947, making it one of the oldest theatrical festivals in France and also a famous theatre festival in the world.

During the three-week festival, the Avignon Theatre Festival presents contemporary French and international productions and many of the shows are created especially for the Festival or are being presented in France for the first time. The Avignon Festival is also a place for artists, producers and audiences to come together. Not only is it a source of avant-garde creation, it has also become point of reference for amateur and professional artists, producers and media people who wish to keep abreast on the world of theatre and other Performing Arts.

Off Festival

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Courtesy Off Festival

Running alongside the Festival d’Avignon is the Off Festival, which is the Avignon fringe festival. Like the Festival d’Avignon, many French and international theatre companies present their shows in some 100 venues around Avignon. Apart from the common timing of the two festivals, the organisation of the Avignon Off Festival is completely separate from the Festival d’Avignon.

During the Festival d’Avignon and Avignon Off Festival hundreds of different theatre companies from all of France and many other nations converge on the city of Avignon, turning it into one huge  stage – some one hundred different venues throughout Avignon serve as theatres.

If you’re contemplating a visit to the Avignon festivals, you should book early as the festivals are very popular and tickets to popular shows sell out. Also, booking your Avignon hotel early is advisable.

For more information on the Avignon festivals, see their website on:

Avignon Festival 2011
Avignon Off Festival



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