Festival International

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Pierre Kwenders from DR Congo performed at Scène Lafayette in 2016.

The Festival International de Louisiane is an annual music and arts festival held in Lafayette, Louisiana celebrating the French heritage of the region and its connection to the Francophone world. The festival was first held in 1987 and has become very popular, attracting musicians, artists, and craftsmen from around the world. The festival is held outdoors, in Downtown Lafayette, the last full weekend in April, and is free to the public. Estimates for attendance include 400,000 in 2016. The festival was voted the "Best World Music Festival" by About.com readers in their 2012 and 2013 Readers' Choice Awards.[1] 2020 saw a virtual event as the COVID-19 pandemic was to blame.

The stated mission of the festival is to:

Enrich the community with a celebration of its native cultures through performing arts. Educate the public of the historical achievements and artistic expressions of related global cultures while developing an appreciation for the arts. Develop culture and tourism, as well as enhance economic development by expanding Louisiana’s reputation as an arts center and a destination for artistic events[2]

French speakers live in the south central area of Louisiana known as Acadiana, and much of the local traditional music by Cajun and Creole musicians uses French lyrics. Bi-lingual radio and television announcers underscore the prevalence of French speakers in older, rural areas among both Cajun and Creole residents. The French Immersion programs in the area promote the language in charter schools while increasing connections to the rest of the French-speaking world. Festival International underscores Acadiana's connection to the Francophone world.

"Organizations such as Radio Canada, TV5Monde, Radio France, and Afropop Worldwide have reached out to Festival International officials to cover the event. In addition, the 2016 lineup of Francophone artists has attracted several government officials from the French-speaking world.

Participating artists[edit]

Alpha Blondy, from the Ivory Coast, performed in 2016.

The festival draws musicians from around the world. Past performers include:

Details of the event[edit]

Festival International de Louisiane has a variety of music, performers and vendors from all over the world. It is free to attend the Festival, which is supported by donors, volunteers and by the attendees when they purchase a pin. There are over four stages and a children's area to celebrate International culture. Festival International de Louisiane happens the last weekend on April with opening ceremonies on Wednesday evening. The Festival closes out Sunday evening with an all artist music jam. The Festival is maintained 90% by volunteers.

See also[edit]




  1. ^ Romer, Megan. "Must-See World Music at Festival International 2012:Don't Miss These Fabulous Bands From Around the World". about.com. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  2. ^ [1][permanent dead link]

External links[edit]