Lafayette’s annual Festivals Acadiens et Créoles will keep its tradition alive by making the shift to online this weekend from Friday, Oct. 16 to Sunday, Oct. 18.
Festivals Acadiens’ Vice President of Programming and Development Patrick Mould said this shift is a historic one for the festival — although they could have canceled it for the year, they didn’t want to break that streak.
“Cause you know we’ve never put on a virtual edition of festival acadiens. I mean we’ve survived hurricanes and floods and dust and mud and rain; the festival has never been canceled.”
What an online festival entails: a broadcast of pre-recorded music performances and cooking demonstrations streaming through Facebook and the festival’s website, food vendors such as Taco Sisters, Café 20.3 and Johnson’s Boucaniѐre selling merchandise in their standup locations, and an online art shop gallery and crafts shop.
Festivals’ Acadiens was going to happen last week, Oct. 9 through Oct. 11, and feature live streamed performances as well as the pre-recorded performances. However, Hurricane Delta prompted the organizers to postpone the festival a week and pre-record all of the content they planned to live stream, according to Mould.
In the past, there hasn’t been an online component to Festivals Acadiens, but Mould said this is going to change.
“Look, moving forward there will be a streaming component to our festival, we can no longer ignore the digital universe,” Mould said. “We’ve kind of been ignoring it, but there will be cameras pointing at our stages and there will be a livestream moving forward. We can’t expect everyone to have boots on the ground in Girard Park year in and year out.”
Mould said the organizers will try to put out year-round content online, which will look a lot like what they’ll be putting on this weekend.
“(The festival) is also a great tool to promote the area, our area of arts and culture and music,” Mould said. “We can now continue to promote that on a year-long basis, so we are engaging our audience on an annual, year-long basis and not just the weekend of the festival.”
On top of wanting to keep up the tradition, Mould said the organizers wanted to keep up the festival because of the economic impact it has on the area, from the food vendors to the 21 bands to the production crew. The festival generated about $9.5 million for Lafayette Parish in 2013 according to The Advocate, and Mould said it has about a $15 impact.
Festivals Acadiens’ schedule is available on its website, as well as a link to its online shop and a list of its food sponsors. There are six performances already available on the website as well.