Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Saturday, 25 May 2013 08:13

Festival review and photos: A world of music turns 27 at the Festival International de Louisiane, April 24-28

Cedric Watson at Festival International de Louisiane Cedric Watson at Festival International de Louisiane Mark Silverstein
Written by Mark Silverstein
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Every year I head to Lafayette, La. for an international spring festival with little or no idea of the bands I will see. The quality of musical performers is outstanding, and I find one or two bands that become a favorite that I place on my future "must see" list.

Formed in 1986, Festival International de Louisiane is a community-based, non-profit arts organization that provides a free family event celebrating the French cultural heritage of Southern Louisiana-primarily a combination of French, African, Caribbean, and Hispanic influences. Celebrating the 27th anniversary of Festival International de Louisiane the last weekend of April in downtown Lafayette, La., it delivered with over 100 musical performances.

Festival International won the About.com Readers Choice Best World Music Festival winning two years running. It's a well deserved award for an underdog since most of the big world music festivals in the U.S. are in large cities, but Lafayette holds this celebration of international music and culture, with a local musical focus.

Bringing in 400,000 people with the six musical stages, six food areas, and three arts and crafts areas gave festival goers plenty to do over the five days. The event built from one musical venue to all six on the final two days, and takes in downtown Lafayette, with access to the local clubs, restaurants and art galleries during the festival. Musical performances from reggae legends the Wailers, New Orleans' Trombone Shorty, Mali's Fatoumata Diawara, Canada's La Vent du Nord and Lafayette's Marc Broussard were among the festival favorites.

What I like most about this festival is that it is very accessible. Barring a huge turnout for the Wailers you had access to a view of each artist from very near the stage. Many of the performers were scheduled a couple of times over the event so you would not have to miss them in case of a conflict or if you simply wanted to see them a second time. What I heard from many of the artists was a sincere appreciation of the festival and how much they enjoyed playing at the event. Plentiful selections of CDs from the artists were available and many had the proceeds going directly to the performer. I was able to get up close and personal with dozens of musicians at the autograph table.

With strong lineups and free admission, the festival is gaining in popularity and has been growing, despite the fact that the dates conflict with the first weekend of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Many festival-goers find their way to do each for a couple of days since only two hours separate the events. Some of the International performers are scheduled at the two festivals or play clubs in New Orleans over the week following.

All photos by Mark Silverstein.

Upcoming Concerts

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

88.1 KDHX Shows

m-grill.jpg

KDHX Recommends

July
Friday
10

A Muscle Shoals Music Revue with Amy Black and Sarah Borges

Join powerhouse singers Amy Black and Sarah Borges for a soulful celebration of the incredible music that came out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama in the 1960s and 70s. Together, with a full band, they will perform classic songs originally...


July
Saturday
11

Brunch at the Stage: Jonathan Ramsey

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


July
Tuesday
14

KDHX Get Down to Business Series: How to Land, and Nail, an Interview

KDHX and Arcade Apartments present the Get Down to Business series at the Stage. Get Down to Business is a series of professional development presentations geared towards the St. Louis arts community. On Tuesday, July 14th, at 7...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

4 users and 12147 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook