The unofficial festival of Avignon, as opposed to the official fete, is appropriately named The OFF festival, in opposition to the officially named IN festival. Street performers line Avignon’s main thoroughfare that leads from the city gates to the Palace of Popes. Flyers advertise free and paid theater products. It’s a week of celebration of theater and dance. Performers and productions are not sanctioned, and not necessarily professional. Anyone can participate.
Not all performers are French. Artists travel to this festival in the hopes of getting noticed and promoting their arts. Arts of all types are represented: live art, magicians, acrobats, dancers, theater performers. I even saw a group of people sitting on the curb with their dogs and a sign that basically said they were artists portraying “bums.”
This unofficial festival celebrated its 66th year in July 2012.