Festival International to transform into for ‘virtual festival’ celebration; Music lineup announced

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LAFAYETTE, La.- Joyeuse fête! Festival International de Louisiane has announced plans to bring the community, and the world, together in a new way during Festival week from April 24-26, 2020.

Organizers said the “spirit of Festival Month” will continue to be celebrated as it has been since 1987.

“We feel that the magic in the air during Festival International is a force that can not, and should not, be stopped,” said Carly Viator, marketing director of Festival International. “Flags are still flying, and the playlist is still playing today. But, we wanted to create something special. We invite you all to join us in celebration from your own home and tune into our three-day Virtual Festival.” 

Virtual Festival will allow fans to join in celebration, from their own homes, by tuning into curated shows via Facebook Live.

The program’s schedule includes intimate concerts from international and local musicians, nostalgic, blast-from-the-past videos and an ‘International Collaborative Surprise’ that should not be missed.

Plans also include ‘Fest Fan’ contests, limited-edition merchandise, donation opportunities and interactive experiences.

Acadiana Open Channel (AOC) will also join the list of scheduled events and showcase its archived televised Festival footage from throughout the years. The full schedule and lineup for Virtual Festival will be out early next week. 

“Put on your best Fest-dress and hat, get creative and decorate your house or stoop,” Viator said.  “Try out a new recipe from another culture, or grab a to-go dish from a local restaurant. We hope to see patrons get creative and inspired. Get ready to dance to the music we had planned for you during our Virtual Festival!”

Follow along on Facebook or at festivalinternational.org/virtualfest.

Festival has also announced a Virtual 5K run, which aims to give runners a fun, physical goal to achieve, while also helping keep the festival alive. Runners can choose their own race course as they practice social distancing. Registrants get access to an exclusive, upbeat 5K playlist for their race day, plus a locally designed 5K T-shirt printed by Parish Ink. Run, walk, jog or bike in support of the #IRunForFestival mission. Registration is now open on Festival’s website.

With these exciting announcements, Festival’s officials would also like to let patrons know they have concluded that rescheduling Festival International to a fall date will not be feasible. This news will not deter their momentum moving forward, as they keep the Festival spirit alive this month, while planning for a wonderful renaissance event next spring in 2021.

“Both of these virtual events will offer new, innovative opportunities,” said Executive Director Scott Feehan, “while providing that feeling of community that is missing during these hard times.  Louisiana is a place known for gathering, celebrating and persevering. Let’s bounce back stronger than ever in the spring as we take this time to stay safe and healthy.”

The Festival team said it extends its utmost gratitude for the patience and support received throughout all of the turmoil. 

“Our community, sponsors and everyone involved with Festival International have truly made this experience more bearable,” Feehan said. “This support system is the core reason that Festival International de Louisiane can exist to begin with. Festival is a community-driven cultural celebration and we are all in this together. Vive le Festival!

”Festival’s staff would also like to remind the community to shop locally. In support of local businesses, Festival’s website will provide a list of food vendors that will be open during Virtual Festival weekend, along with the art vendors’ websites and online shops.

By popular demand, Legends and Cafe 20.3 will be serving up Festival punch to-go, which will come with a set of complementary 2020 Festival souvenir cups. Both locations will have 2020 pins, posters and flags available for purchase. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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