The two top performing arts festivals in France, based in the towns of Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, were cancelled yesterday, because of ongoing labor disbutes with technicians, The New York Times reported today.

The dispute, which centers on insurance plans for both technical staff, also shut down several more festivals around France. The technical staff members are upset about proposed changes, which would require them to work more hours in order to qualify for unemployment payments.

Stephane Lissner, director of the Aix-en-Provence festival, says the festival is facing a loss of $7.5 million.

To read the full Times story, click here.