Update to our supporters

To our Festival supporters,

I hope you and your loved ones are all doing well during this crazy time. You are receiving this update because you supported us in the past two years – either as a volunteer or a financial supporter. Know that we could not do anything that we do without your support and we are working hard to keep the light of Festival International burning bright. I wanted to take a minute to send you a quick update. You have either already started hearing some rumors and reading some stories or you are most likely about to.

Quick summary:

  • We have a long list of very serious challenges for Festival International 2021
  • Festival International will not happen in its full format that we all know and love for 2021
  • We spent 6 months brainstorming all kinds of crazy ideas on how to pivot and innovate 
  • We have not been able to come up with any great holistic solution
  • We are now in a position where we have to make some decisions fairly soon
  • We have short and long terms challenges that we are working on in parallel


We are committed to getting back to planning Festival International de Louisiane in the familiar format in Downtown Lafayette that we all know and love. At the same time, we have to get through some really challenging years right now because of COVID-19.

Because  of all of this, we have begun to reach out to our community partners for help and guidance. This is why you are starting to hear the stories. I have personally even reached out to some of Festival’s founders for “spiritual” advice and guidance on this matter. Yes, we have talked to some of our neighboring communities. No, we do not want to move Festival International from downtown Lafayette. We are simply not the type of organization to sit down and accept a terrible situation without getting creative and trying to innovate in order to survive for the long term. 

That is the quick story. If you would like to read more, I will continue below with a recap of this past year, as well as more about what we are looking at now.

2020… We were all dealt some major challenges and had to fight to survive in so many ways. For us, we were faced with a total cancelation for the first time in our 34 year history. We were up against the possibility of a $486,000 loss, which would have been devastating. We got creative and decided to produce a Virtual Festival. We knew we wanted to be innovative and give you something to be proud of, but had no roadmap to follow. We had 3 weeks to pull everything together and made it up as we went. Our Board of Directors empowered our staff to embark on this journey and they stepped up to the challenge. We reached out to you for support and you rallied behind us.

What transpired was truly revolutionary and we could not have imagined it going any better than it did, given the circumstances. We had new, virtual performances of artists from 15 different countries and dozens of our favorite historical performances from AOC’s vault. We were able to showcase our city and rich culture and heritage to viewers from 44 different countries. It was more than just a live stream event online, though. 900 people participated in our Virtual 5K – running, walking, biking around town wearing Festival shirts. We had an entire community flying their Festival flags and decorating their porches. We had neighborhoods organizing their own “Scène des Jeunes”, with activities for kids, Festival coloring sheets and serving juice and water in Festival cups. Over 600 gallons of Festival punch and several thousand meals were served from our Festival cocktail and food vendors.

As a result of all of your support, we were able to mitigate much of the potential loss that we were faced with. We were not able to eliminate the entire loss, but enough to keep us in a position to fight on to live another day.

Now, we are looking to the Spring of 2021 and working through some of the same challenges that we dealt with this past April. From international travel restrictions and limited stateside venues available for cross-booking to social distancing guidelines and safety / security concerns, we have some big considerations to work through..

We are working hard to innovate once again for next year in order to provide our community a shining light to rally behind and keep Festival alive. We have spent the past six months internally mapping out all sorts of mitigation plans and strategies. We have a long list of possibilities – many of them are bad, some are OK, and a few of them could be great. We are now at a point where we need to start working on a final plan. In order to do this, we have begun to reach out to our external partners to exchange ideas and work on the possibilities. We are working closely with Downtown Development Authority, Downtown Lafayette Unlimited and Lafayette Consolidated Government, as well as others to sort this out.

We are not willing to give up (yet) on the idea of producing a live event. Once we accepted that we would not be able to plan our full Festival in its normal format and footprint, we began to think way outside of any box we ever had. This is the same creative process that we went through in order to produce our Virtual Fest this past Spring. We explored all kinds of bad ideas before coming up with a good one. 

During this process, it is true that we have considered several additional / satellite venues for next year that are not in downtown, including Youngsville (among a dozen others) as a potential additional venues. The reasoning for a possible satellite venue is to help provide some more cross booking opportunities and bring in some additional support to offset some of the cost of flying in musicians. In a normal year, we are able to cross book with Festivals and venues around the country to help mitigate expenses and taxes. Right now, our options are very limited. 

We are also exploring different possibilities for our downtown venues – we are simply looking at all sorts of scenarios in order to come up with a good plan that is responsible and makes sense for everybody. No matter what we come up with, it has to be flexible in a way that we can behave responsibly in regards to whatever the situation is with COVID-19 when April rolls around. This, of course, leaves open the possibility of not having a traditional live music performance with patrons in the venue.

Nothing has been decided at this point – it is all completely exploratory. Downtown will certainly play a big part of whatever format we come up with. Nobody is excited about the fact that we are forced to rethink our entire event – we all want to see Festival International return to its full urban format that we all love. When will that be? Because of a long list of challenges and a whole lot of uncertainty, we must get creative in order to survive and make it to the other side.

I commit to letting you know as soon as we have a final plan. In the interim, I would ask for your continued support and patience as we work through the process. We are not working on this alone and will be getting very creative in order to find the best possible solution. We have an entire team of very passionate people (staff, Board, community partners) involved and everybody’s hearts are in the right place. It is inspiring to see and feel all of the passion in our Festival community. We are humbled by this, as always. It will ultimately take all of us to come together and rise up to ensure that Festival International lives on and returns to its proper urban setting in downtown Lafayette – stronger than ever. I am confident that we will.  Meanwhile, if you find a crystal ball and the magic bullet, please send them our way;)

Bon Festival!

Scott Feehan



Executive Director
Festival International de Louisiane

Festival Guide Sponsors

Borden’s
Canada/New Brunswick
Cedar Grocery
Codofil
Corner Bar
Crawfish Festival Breaux Bridge
Developing Lafayette
DTA
Eat Lafayette
Festival Acadiens & Creole
Greg Moreaux
Guardian Angels’ Fund
IberiaBank
IDI Workplace
JD Bank
La Carreta
Lafayette Airport
Lafayette Music Academy
LUS 
LUS Fiber
Moncus Park
Nabil Loli
Nitetown
Pouparts
School of Rock
Shelter Insurance
St Martin Parish
Stirling Properties
Tsunami
UL Lafayette
UL Lafayette
Vermilionville

Virtual Festival Sunday

AOC Digital Archive Presentation:

shown on AOC TV and AOC Facebook page


1:00Sargent GarciaFrance/Cuba2013
2:15TinariwenMali2014

Virtual Festival Friday, presented by JD Bank:

on AOC TV and Festival International Facebook Page


*Starting times for the day and order of performances will be accurate. Due to the nature of our live streaming, the exact times of all performances will “breathe”. We are providing the approximate hour markers to give you some reference of expectations.

We will be streaming these shows live on our Facebook Page. Ideally, try to watch on a TV or computer with some good speakers.

TimeOrderArtistCountryYear
4:001Natu CamaraGuineaVirtual
2 Julian Primeaux LouisianaVirtual
 3Gregg Martinez, G.G. Shinn, & T.K. HulinLouisiana2017
 4Major HandyLouisianaVirtual
 5Lisa LeBlancNew Brunswick2015
 6Lone PiñonNew MexicoVirtual
 5:007Angélique KidjoBenin2015
8Jacques SuretteNova ScotiaVirtual
9Charles BradleyU.S.2013
 10Jelly ToastLouisianaVirtual
11Jeffery Broussard & the Creole CowboysLouisiana2017
 6:0012DelgresFrance/GuadeloupeVirtual
 13The WailersJamaica2013
 14SinkaneSudan/U.S.Virtual
15GIVERS w/ Special Guests Tom Tom Club, Mokoomba, & Dickie LandryLouisiana/U.S.2017
16Finale w/ Sinkane & special guestsSudan/Haiti/France/Guadeloupe/Brazil/Guinea/Louisiana/ZimbabweVirtual

Virtual Festival Saturday

AOC Digital Archive Presentation:

shown on AOC TV and AOC Facebook page


2:00Chic GamineManitoba2013
3:15BajoliDR Congo/Belgium2014

Virtual Festival Friday, presented by LUS:

on AOC TV and Festival International Facebook Page


We will be streaming these shows live on our Facebook Page. Ideally, try to watch on a TV or computer with some good speakers.

TimeOrderArtistCountryYear
5:001Natu CamaraGuineaVirtual
 2Red BaraatIndia/U.S.2017
 3Eric DionQuébecVirtual
6:004Leyla McCallaLouisiana/HaitiVirtual
 5GuGu Drum Group from ShanghaiChina2017
 6Nathan & the Zydeco Cha ChasLouisianaVirtual
 7MarchFourthU.S.2015
 8SpoutniqueNew BrunswickVirtual
7:009T’MondeLouisianaVirtual
 10GinkgoaFrance2017
 11Brother DegeLouisianaVirtual
 12Nomadic MassiveQuébec/Cuba/France/Brazil2015
 13Soul CreoleLouisianaVirtual
8:0014Balkan Beat BoxIsrael/France2017
 15Radio RadioNova Scotia/New BrunswickVirtual

Virtual Festival Friday

AOC Digital Archive Presentation:

shown on AOC TV and AOC Facebook page


4:00Sharon Jones & the Dap KingsU.S.2010
5:15Bomba EstéreoColumbia2011

Virtual Festival Friday, presented by Coca Cola:

shown on AOC TV and Festival International Facebook Page


*Starting times for the day and order of performances will be accurate. Due to the nature of our live streaming, the exact times of all performances will “breathe”. We are providing the approximate hour markers to give you some reference of expectations.

We will be streaming these shows live on our Facebook Page. Ideally, try to watch on a TV or computer with some good speakers.

TimeOrderArtistCountryYear
7:001Opening Ceremonies Virtual
 2Ceux Qui Marchent DeboutFrance2017
 3Pierre DonoréFranceVirtual
 4RAMHaitiVirtual
8:005MokoombaZimbabwe2017
 6Burke, Steve, & Dolsy Riley LouisianaVirtual
 7Rachid TahaAlgeria2009
 8AyradMorocco/QuébecVirtual
 9Dave PuhaczNew BrunswickVirtual
 10Marc BroussardLouisiana2017
 11Francisco El HombreBrazilVirtual
 12Las CafeterasMexico/U.S.2017
9:0013Chloé BreaultNew BrunswickVirtual
 14Roddie Romero & the Hub City AllstarsLouisiana2015
 15FeufolletLouisianaVirtual
 16   

2018 Poster Signing Party Announcement!

News from Festival International
315 Lee Ave
Lafayette, La 70501
337. 232.8086/ Fax 337.233.7536

January 16, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Carly Viator, Marketing Coordinator
carly@festivalinternational.diablodev.com

 

Festival International Announces 2018 Poster Signing Party

Lafayette, LA – Festival International de Louisiane is excited to announce Mollie Wallace, the Official 2018 Visual Artist, will be signing Limited Edition Festival posters this Saturday, January 20, 2018! Posters are on sale now, so order yours while supplies last! The signing party will be held at the Festival Office, where only 32 autographed posters will be available for purchase.

Wallace has lived in New Orleans for over 13 years and this cultural fusion seems to have influenced her vibrant representation of the 32nd annual Festival International de Louisiane, presented by LUS Fiber. “So many of my close friends in New Orleans are tied to this festival,” says Wallace. “It is such an honor to be able to represent Festival International’s spirit through my art work.”

Join us for this extra special event. Order your signed 2018 Limited Edition Festival poster by clicking here! ORDER POSTER

 

About Festival International de Louisiane

Festival International de Louisiane is a non-profit organization that produces the largest International music and arts festival in the United States with a special emphasis on the connection between Acadiana and the Francophone world and an estimated economic impact of 49 million annually. With over 300,000 festival goers every year, the annual festival features musical performances by artists from over 20 countries along with workshops, exhibits, visual art, theater and other forms of performance arts. The 5-day festival is held in April transforming downtown Lafayette, Louisiana into an entertainment mecca.  Celebrate 32 years of Festival International de Louisiane, April 25-29, 2018!

Festival International de Louisiane
315 Lee Ave
Lafayette, LA 70501
337-232-8086
www.festivalinternational.org
April 25-29, 2018

All things Festival

Here is a letter that was sent out to our supporters in December. If you would like to be on the front lines and be one of the ones who hears these updates first, please consider signing up to be an ami today! I send regular updates about what is going on behind the scenes to all of our supporters.

December 21, 2017

We have a lot of things going on and most of them are great! We also have a few opportunities that I wanted to share. The bullet points below are brief, just want to keep you in the loop.

Our lineup is complete, with musicians from 21 different countries (will be released in February – stay tuned). We have committed more money this year than ever before to musicians and street animation (over $280,000, compared to $250,000 last year).

We have great opportunities for new sponsorship exposure this year. We have a $10,000 package that will receive over $75,000 worth of radio advertising alone. We have another opportunity to receive a TON of media exposure, branding and consumer engagement with a new technology that we will be rolling out with LUS Fiber next year. Interested? Know of any companies that might be? Contact us

Our Marketing Director, April Courville, recently resigned to pursue a new, exciting opportunity. We wish her the best and are grateful for all of the work she has done over the past several years – she left some big shoes to fill…

Our new Amis campaign started last month and so far, has been going well. You may have seen the signs around town and the commercials on the tube. A huge thank you to Neekee, Paul and Taylor for allowing us to share their stories. If you haven’t renewed for next year yet, click here and do it now – Let’s Own the Moment!

Liam Doyle has joined our team as our new ADA coordinator. He will be focused on accessibility throughout Festival Grounds. He has been doing good work as the Disability Affairs Coordinator for Lafayette Consolidated Government and we are looking forward to working with him.

We have a new mobile app provider and have recently begun the development of our brand new app. We will have dedicated features focused on sending Festival patrons to the businesses that support us…

Overall fundraising so far is going well, but we still have a long ways to go. If you are curious, you can see our progress on all programs by clicking here. Our goal is to hit the top of each bar shown before Festival begins. If you would like to be a part of what brings the world to Lafayette, choose the program that is right for you by clicking here!

I will be a guest on Jan Swift’s “Discover Lafayette” podcast in a couple of weeks. Be sure to tune in to hear more about everything else we have going on.

That’s it for now – I will circle back after the first of the year.

From all of us at Festival, Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!

Scott Feehan
Executive Director I Festival International de Louisiane

Bonne Fête au Festival! 32 ans! Festival International de Louisiane
April 25-29, 2018
www.festivalinternational.org

Save the Date – La Fête du Festival

Take an exotic journey to the far east! Party Bollywood-style with Festival International de Louisiane for their annual fundraising celebration, La Fête du Festival! Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 11, 2016 from 7:00-10:00 pm at Warehouse 535, located at 535 Garfield St, Lafayette.

Center your chakras and consult your guru. This year’s fundraiser will take you to a world of enchantment with featured drink specials, delicious food (think curries and tikka masala), entertainment and a fun, energetic performance by a much-anticipated international performer! (Announcement coming soon.)

Stay tuned for more details and be among the first to snag entry to the hottest bash of the season! Tickets go on sale September 16th.

Save the Date – La Fête du Festival

Take an exotic journey to the far east! Party Bollywood-style with Festival International de Louisiane for their annual fundraising celebration, La Fête du Festival! Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 11, 2016 from 7:00-10:00 pm at Warehouse 535, located at 535 Garfield St, Lafayette.

Center your chakras and consult your guru. This year’s fundraiser will take you to a world of enchantment with featured drink specials, delicious food (think curries and tikka masala), entertainment and a fun, energetic performance by a much-anticipated international performer! (Announcement coming soon.)

Stay tuned for more details and be among the first to snag entry to the hottest bash of the season! Tickets go on sale September 16th.

AOC Community Media to Air Live Performances

Relive Festival International 2016 favorite performances during Fest Week July 1-8

AOC Community Media will premiere footage of Festival International 2016 main-stage performances during Fest Week July 1-8 on AOC 1 (Cox Communications channel 15 or LUS Fiber channel 3). AOC will air episodes each day during prime-time hours, culminating in an all-day Festival recap on Friday, July 8. Click here to see the full press release and schedule.