Founded in 1947 by Jean Vilar, the Festival d'Avignon is today one of the most important international events of contemporary live performance. For over 75 years, every summer in July, Avignon has been transformed into a veritable theater town.
The Festival d'Avignon represents 75 years of universalism in the service of cultural heritage and contemporary creation. 75 years of putting Art into perspective with social reality. 75 years of a political and aesthetic project that observes the great metamorphoses of live performance and, through them, the diversity and complexity of the World.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cour d'honneur of the Palais des Papes is its cradle, when the Festival d'Avignon now takes over more than 30 places in the city and its region: gymnasiums, cloisters, chapels, gardens, quarries, churches… Today, the Festival welcomes 120.000 spectators each year and offers more than 400 events. (shows, debates, meetings, readings, screenings).
To be the international meeting place for theatrical creation, the happy marriage between memory, history, heritage and the future, experimentation and; accentuate the territorial presence; make ecology a priority concern and promote accessibility in all its dimensions: these are the main axes of the management of Tiago Rodrigues at the head of the Festival since September 2022.
The FabricA, the first space specially designed for the Festival, was inaugurated in 2013. A place of residence for the artist during the year, it houses a room the same size as the stage in the Cour d'honneur and makes it possible to intensify the work of awareness of live performance that the Festival leads to all audiences.
The lineup will be announced in March 2023./
In September 1947, at the invitation of René Char and the Zervos couple, John Vilar presents three creations in three places in Avignon for « A week of Dramatic Art ». In the Cour d'Honneur of the Palais des Papes, fitted out for the occasion, the Municipal Theater and the Urban V Orchard, will be played a Shakespeare almost unknown at the time in France, Richard II ; The Story of Toby and Sara by Paul Claudel; and The Midday Terrace, second work by Maurice Clavel.
The Art Week continued until 1954, when the event took the name of Festival d'Avignon.