Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, Minister of Culture, presented, today in Toulouse, the new strategy of the State in favor of festivals, at the closing of the third edition of the Estates General of Festivals[1].

This edition concluded a cycle of work launched in July 2020 by Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin to better support festivals. By bringing together all the actors involved, the Estates General of Festivals (EGF) have opened a new space for dialogue between the State, local authorities, organizers and artists.

This method, based on exchange and co-construction, has already made it possible for the 2021 festival season to take place. Indeed, beyond all the public aid implemented to address the health crisis, the Ministry of Culture has created an exceptional dedicated fund, with €30 million, which helped to support festivals in their adaptation to the health context and thus contributed to the preservation of the French festival ecosystem.

It is also in this context that long-term work has been undertaken to improve knowledge of festivals and integrate sustainable development issues into their support. In this respect, the book Festivals, territories and society, which has just been published in co-edition by the Ministry of Culture and the Press of Sciences Po, offers a unique analysis of the festival-goer. This vast sociological study, conducted by Emmanuel Négrier and Aurélien Djakouane at 1,400 festivals, reveals the importance of festivals in the French cultural landscape and in the territories.

In all their diversity, festivals play an essential role:

  • In the meeting of artists with audiences, by bringing together a large audience, often younger than the one met in the halls;
  • In the structuring of artistic and cultural sectors, by supporting the creation, production and dissemination of new projects, the accompaniment of emerging artists and artistic and cultural employment;
  • In terms of emergence, by promoting new artistic forms, in terms of aesthetics and formats;
  • And in the cultural and economic development of the territories, through networking and irrigation of the whole country.

At the third edition of the EGF, Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin presented the commitments made after this year of collective work.

Starting in 2022, the Department’s new festival policy will be based on three pillars:

  • Festival Watching : up to now, there has been a lack of detailed knowledge of all the festivals. As part of the EGF, a mapping of festivals by regions, coordinated with France Festivals and the CNRS, was launched. To date, it has covered 8 regions, including 2 ultramarine. By spring 2022, all regions will be mapped. The data will then be updated every 3 years by the Department of Studies, Foresight and Statistics of the Ministry of Culture.
  • The promotion of sustainable festivals and virtuous practices, defined and framed by a sustainable development charter for festivals. In order to provide a practical framework, and thus a common base for all festivals wishing to engage in a sustainable approach, this charter puts in place a system of conditionality of the aid granted by the Ministry of Culture. Several organisations of territorial elected representatives and professional organisations have undertaken to sign it, in a broad movement of membership.
  • Increased and more legible state support for festivals. Placing festivals at the heart of the general policy of the Ministry of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin presented the new framework of support for festivals, clearer and more coherent, detailed within the Principles of State Commitment to Festivals. In addition to the support already provided by other public and private partners, the State wishes, from 2022, to better support festivals, both by supporting their phases of evolution and growth, in different fields of innovation and excellence, and by pursuing a policy of support for festivals of national and international scope. State support will thus be structured around ad hoc aid, three-year contractualised aid and thematic cross-cutting aid.

To be eligible for State aid, festivals will have to meet several basic eligibility criteria, such as independence of programming, gender equality and the fight against sexual and gender-based violence. The draft Finance Bill for 2022 thus provides for €10 million in new sustainable measures to support festivals, in addition to the resources already deployed each year by the Ministry and its institutions to benefit festivals of all disciplines and which reaches €35 million.

Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin welcomes the mobilization of all professional actors within the framework of the States General of Festivals, which has helped to build collectively a more ambitious public policy at the service of all festivals, heart-beating identity of our country.


Documents for download:

Sustainable Development Charter for Festivals

Principles of State Commitment to Festivals


[1] Two first editions were held on October 2, 2020 in Avignon, and on June 28, 2021 in Bourges.