Festivals between ephemeral and permanent, a territorial cultural dynamic?
Nearly 7,300 festivals were held in 2019 and were identified as part of an ambitious national mapping project. Of very different size and scope, some festivals have several dozen proposals when others are more like a village festival inscribed in an artistic or cultural approach. This great diversity forms the richness of the festive reality, which developed in favor of the cultural policies implemented from 1981, highlighting the event dimension and its festive aspect.
This national census ambition focuses on festivals that have been held in 2019 (or 2018 for biennials). Three other cumulative criteria were used to define the scope: having had at least two editions, taking place over more than one day and offering at least five artistic programs (concerts, performances, shows, etc.). The analysis is carried out at the regional and then departmental levels; a focus on the Occitania region is also proposed.
The national mapping was carried out by France Festivals, the Centre d'études politiques et sociales (Cepel), the A. Agence culturelle Nouvelle-Aquitaine and the DEPS.
Edwige Millery, Emmanuel Négrier and Stéphane Coursière
Culture Studies Collection, 32p., February 2023
- Near 7,300 festivals had an edition in 2019.
- More than four festivals in ten are music festivals22% live performance, 12% book and literature, 9% cinema, 6% multidisciplinary and 5% visual and digital arts.
- Almost half festivals have been created over the past decade.
- Almost four in ten take place in summer. History, preferred aesthetics and heliotropism explain variations in their presence across regions.
- Les urban departments have a greater number of festivals but the rural departments dispose of a rich supply relative to the population.
- The festival offer is often based on a network of actors and cultural institutions working throughout the year. The festival dynamic is therefore both ephemeral and durable.