It's hard to believe it's been two years since we've gotten to be with friends at Festival International. We went from big crowds and the smell of food, to little boxes on a screen. This wasn't easy for Festival organizers.
Candace Gulotta-Haggart, the Development Director of Festival International says, "We had to pivot really quickly, Last year for 2020, we had three weeks to do a virtual festival. We are just extremely excited about what we're going to be able to give to our community and not just our community, but all the countries that are going to be tuning in as well."
This year, you can bring more of Festival home with Fest-In-A-Box! Gulotta-Haggart adds,"This is something we created when we decided as an organization to do virtual festival. We created a Fest-In-A-Box which has a bunch of different items that really brings the feel of festival to a home. So get excited, have watch parties, a mini festival whatever you want. It just brings that vibrant atmosphere of what festival is into your home."
And buying a box helps to keep festival going this year and next year too. "It's part of a fund raising effort to keep Festival Alive. It helps fund the production of this year's virtual festival and sustain the vibrancy of what Festival is, that we've had for 35 years." says Gulotta-Haggart.
Even though we'd love to be there in person, this virtual festival actually opens us up to more worldwide and may encourage visits to Lafayette in the future. "Absolutely it was a really great way for the people who couldn't travel, nationally, internationally, and even locally to see Festival. Even the ones who moved away from Lafayette. This gives them an opportunity to Festival with us!"
And since the streaming seems to work, it's likely to stay even after real people and performers return. Gulotta-Haggart adds, "We're definitely planning on having a streaming component year after year, from now on. We're going to come back bigger and better in 2022, and I can't wait to Festival with everyone in person!"
If you want a box, or any other Festival International merchandise, visit the Festival International Store.