The Avignon Theater Festival

July 6th to 26th 2017, Avignon, France

For those unaware of it, the theater festival of Avignon is the national main event of theater, and one of the most important international theater festivals, period, in a country long considered one of the world centers of literature and drama. Many say it is comparable only to the Edinburgh Festival. Founded in 1947 by Jean Vilar, the Avignon Theater Festival takes place in one of the most charming cities of France, a city known for its great medieval history. It was for 68 years where a series of popes resided in its great papal palace (1309-1377).

Avignon also benefits from the charm of a Mediterranean climate, and it retains its medieval city walls. Much of its center is pedestrian, making it a wonderland for those who visit, especially  in the summer. And most of the city is classified as a UNESCO world heritage site because of its history and architecture. However it is during the festival of theater in July that the city is the most lively and ravishing. Imagine a theater festival using more than 30 classified sites as stages under Mediterranean skies.

View of Avignon’s old city walls and structure

The theater festival is a rather big one, too. It consists of two parts: the official “In” segment and the parallel ”Off” segment. The former considers an average of over 100,000 entries per year, and the latter stages non-programmed and unofficial events. The most attractive setting is the main courtyard of the Papal Palace, in the center of the old city.

The Papal Palace main courtyard becomes an extraordinary theater stage during the festival

However, what is really amazing is the magical atmosphere you sense from walking around the city during the event: it is filled with excitement; and events and improvised moments await you at every street corner. The atmosphere of the city is one for romantics, as you can lose yourself in charming streets and restaurants hidden in courtyards. It is a very special event.

Websites for official and non official festival: All information on bookings and fees here: The official program of shows and plays: D.A.


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