After several months of exploring ways to safely create an exciting and inspiring event for the community, the Festival team is pleased to announce their plans for pivoting the 2021 event in a way that continues to celebrate the local and international music, arts, food and cultures that the event is known for. It will not be possible to produce Festival International de Louisiane in its usual format this Spring. The final decision it to take the 2020 Virtual Fest structure to the next level by combining live / immersive experiences in Downtown Lafayette, plus community-centered components to create an unforgettable event.
“Our plan is to build upon the momentum we had last year for Virtual Fest and give our supporters and community, near and far, a beacon of light and a reminder that together, through our music and culture, we are all united.” said Executive Director, Scott Feehan. “Festival is our very own unique celebration that we can all be proud of, and we want to continue sharing the magic that unites us. Let’s stick together and get through these difficult times by leaning on each other. It is our hope that this spring, you will join us in supporting our artists, artisans, musicians, restaurants, bars, and businesses more than ever.” he added. Festival International will once again put the talent of Lafayette onto a global virtual stage combined with some of the finest talent from around the world, while also sharing memories of past festivals. The organization is working with Downtown Lafayette stakeholders, including DDA, DLU, and many Downtown business owners to highlight what makes Acadiana so special. Last year, Virtual Fest entertained viewers from 44 different countries – this year they strive for even more reach. The goal as an organization is to hopefully break even this year and not lose more ground after last year. If the 2021 event receives a level of support like in 2020, Festival will come close to hitting that goal. “You proved to us how much this event means to our community by purchasing merchandise, buying Festival punch, and by sticking with us as sponsors and donors. From Amis to Rain Angels, to local businesses and 5K runners, your support brings the world to our city.” Feehan explained. “Get involved in a way that works for you so we can continue to celebrate together year after year.” The theme for Festival 2021 is commUNITY, and this message is at the forefront of every angle of the planned event. The team has selected three talented and diverse visual artists to collaborate on a piece of artwork that represents this message of commUNITY. These artists came together without knowing each other prior and accepted the challenge to unite through their diversities to create one unifying piece. With varying artistic mediums, different ethnic backgrounds and ranging ages, the final collaborative piece will inspire the official pin and poster for 2021.
Feehan went on to assure fans and supporters that Festival International recognizes that on the surface, this is not the option that anyone would have chosen without great reason. “But with every challenge comes opportunity.” he added “This is our opportunity to not only showcase Lafayette on an international level, but also to continue growing our technical virtual toolset with advanced capabilities that allow our region’s talent to get global reach. When Festival International is back in full swing, this technology will be key to connecting us as a community with the world.”
The Festival International family invites everyone to unite with them for 2021 to celebrate the power of diversity and love. Below is an overview of the plans. Stay tuned for the full schedule and more news from Festival International de Louisiane.
April 1 – 30, 2021: FEASTival International – a month of Festival food
April 23 – 25, 2021: Virtual / Immersive Festival International
April 24, 2021: Live / Virtual 5K
Photos courtesy of Festival International/LafayetteTravel.com