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An Avignon Off Festival under the sign of peace

“A fish symbol of peace”, this is how Oleksandra Dementieva, a Ukrainian student from the Avignon School of Art, presented yesterday, live from the City of the Popes, her poster for the 58th edition of the Festival Off Avignon.

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An Avignon Off Festival under the sign of peace

“A fish symbol of peace”, this is how Oleksandra Dementieva, a Ukrainian student from the Avignon School of Art, presented yesterday, live from the City of the Popes, her poster for the 58th edition of the Festival Off Avignon. Laurent Domingos and Harold David, co-presidents of Avignon Festival et Compagnies, who organize this meeting, recalled that it was almost canceled by the government because of the Olympic Games.

The program is rich in a multitude of diverse offers. Officials note the presence of Australia, Canada and a return from China. Taiwan will be highlighted through shows, films and round tables.

Also read: “The Avignon festival cannot be blind to the injustices of the world”

“In 2023, there were 1,491 shows. This year, there are 1,617, including 536 creations, but they are performed fewer times. The companies shared the performance slots,” explains Laurent Domingos. Like Tiago Rodrigues, director of In, Harold David wants shows with longer running times. This year, In starts earlier, on June 29 instead of July 5 in 2023. That is, one week before the school holidays. The Off will open its doors on July 3, instead of June 29 last year.

However, 25% of the Off rooms will welcome the public at the same time as the In. “We are working with Tiago Rodrigues to align the dates in 2025. It would be better to have the same ones, we would like the press to consider a land of festivals in the plural,” insists Harold David.

The manager says he is “a little worried” about attendance: “The festival attracts an essentially local audience. Will it be enough to fill theaters? » In 2023, the 57th edition of Off broke an attendance record: 350,000 people for 1.9 million tickets sold. “There, the duration is shorter, but we hope to do as well,” he anticipates.

The leaders of the two demonstrations have the common desire to “mutualize” their assets. “Everyone has to gain,” says Harold David. We are in the same performing arts subsidiary, we have the same challenges. We started discussing a single professional village. Tiago Rodrigues thought about a common reception area. We are moving away from this logic where everyone looks at each other like dogs to cooperate. »

As if echoing the Cannes Film Festival and the threat

www.festivaloffavignon.com

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