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Festival International announces music lineup, April takeover events

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Posted at 2:33 PM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-02 14:25:26-04

Festival International de Louisiane is kicking off the first day of Festival Month by releasing its musical lineup for the 2021 Virtual Festival.

Fans can tune in from home and host streaming parties to unite for the online celebration.

Festival has also announced plans to take over Acadiana in full force for the entire month of April. Those plans include:

  • Music Lineup: 51 performances by artists from around the world
  • New immersive programs: Saturday morning show for kids and Sunday afternoon bingo comedy hour
  • Paint the Town Festival: Decorating homes/businesses to show Festival spirit with new merch items, like the Fest-in-a-Box
  • FEASTival: Festival-inspired food served by participating restaurants

From April 23 - 25, the 35th annual Festival International, and second Virtual Festival, will feature a lineup of artists representing cultures from around the world.

See the lineup below:

Among those groups is the polyrhythmic, funk-melodic, grit-soul sounds of Cuban sensation, Cimafunk. Fest favorites and Grammy-nominated, Tank and The Bangas of New Orleans, and Ukranian band DakhaBrakha.

“We have lined up an eclectic spectrum of artists and music,” said Lisa Stafford, programming director of Festival International, “ranging from contemporary pop, all the way down to fiddles and feet tappin’.”

Stafford said she is also excited about international acts The Reminders.

“We are also thrilled to be showcasing a zydeco group from Japan, the Zydeco Kicks!”, who were frequently requested by local musicians, and possible to secure this year because of the virtual format

Natu Camera, of Guinea, Afrikana Soul Sister, of Mali, Montreal-based, international touring artist Zachary Richard, of Lafayette, and French guitarist Thomas Dutronc will represent the Francophone contingent of Festival International. Women-led group OKAN is also set to perform, as well as several other international artists.

Performances continue with national acts, such as New Orleans’ Hot 8 Brass Band and Samantha Fish, as well as from national and international touring artists hailing from Acadiana, some of whom are Grammy nominees: Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole; Curly Taylor & Zydeco Trouble; Sweet Crude; Cameron Dupuy & The Cajun Troubadours and Lil Nathan & The Zydeco Big Timers.

Unique to this year’s virtual program, Festival says that Saturday morning will open with an interactive show for children. Sunday will open with a comedic, bingo game – an immersive collaboration between musicians of New Brunswick and Acadiana, in a mix of French and English known as “Franglish.” Participants can play along with digital Bingo cards provided by FIL.

In additional efforts to give Virtual Festival a sense of “unity and togetherness," the organization says it is putting on a Festival Month Extravaganza: an entire month-long Festival takeover of Acadiana.

“Paint the Town Festival” will offer an opportunity for the community to show its festival spirit despite the inability to gather. Fans can participate by decorating homes and businesses with all things Festival.

Festival says it has made it easier to show that spirit with Fest-in-a-Box, a special edition care-package of Festival swag. Orders can be placed online beginning April 1st. The 2021 Virtual Swirl flags are also great ways to show support. Festival says all merchandise purchases help sustain the event’s vitality.

Art vendors will also be participating this year via an online shopping experience. A Spotify playlist will be released this week to add to the overall Festival spirit, they say.

FEASTival is also part of Festival Month Extravaganza for Festival foodies to support local restaurants.

Festival-inspired dishes will be served the entire month of April and participating restaurants will provide punch cards to customers so they can check off all their favorites. Restaurants will donate 10 percent of revenue from all FEASTival dishes sold toward Festival International.

Festival International will go LIVE on Facebook on April 23, 2021, on its website, and on television via LUS Fiber. for more streaming information and for full schedule release.

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