Founded in 1947, Avignon Festival is one of the biggest international contemporary live performance events. Every year in July, Avignon becomes a theatre town, transforming its architectural heritage into various majestic and surprising performance venues, and welcoming tens of thousands of theatre-lovers of all generations (over 130,000 admissions). Many of the spectators are on holiday and come from far away, spending several days in Avignon and seeing a few of the shows from the forty or so works of theatre, dance, visual arts and music. The festival is a successful, original alliance between a mainstream audience and international creativity. Avignon is also a state of mind: the town is an open-air forum where festival-goers talk about the shows and share their experiences as spectators. For a month, they can all access a contemporary living culture.
Each instalment of Avignon Festival is put together with the help of an associate artist, working together to map out an artistic territory. Beyond their own creations, their enquiries, practices and passions freely inspire the whole programme of events. This programme consists of thirty or so artistic teams, whose work is displayed at the Festival, with one or more shows, readings, exhibitions, films and discussions providing gateways to the world of these artists. So there is an element of risk each year, which is shared with the artists. Every night at the Festival, one or more “premieres" are shown, making Avignon a place of creativity and adventure for artists and spectators alike.