The Avignon International Festival is the biggest performing arts event in the contemporary world. It takes place in more than 30 venues across the French city of Avignon, including the main yard of the Popes palace (the town hosted the Papacy from 1309 to 1378 and from 1378 to 1418). Founded in 1947 by French comedian and director Jean Vilar, it is one of the oldest and most famous festivals in France.
Every July, 130.000 people from all over the world gather in Avignon to see more than 300 performances of various natures, from classical French plays to contemporary ones. Often bold, sometime spectacular, the performances allow new plays to be spotted by members of the theater industry and to tour France or join a theater after the festival.