“The Greatness of A Culture can be Found in its Festivals” Siddharth Katragadda

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Author: Mary Hooks Baudoin, Marketing Director, AOC Community Media

My favorite time of year is here! Spring marks the beginning of warmer weather and longer daylight hours, the blooming of flowers and the budding of leaves. And that’s all great, but I really love that it’s time for Festival International de Louisiane. I know many people share my love for Festival International de Louisiane so I’d love to read your comments on your favorite experience. I’ve asked my fellow co-workers at AOC to tell me why they love Festival. Here are a few of the responses I received as well as my own.

"I always enjoy filming festival performances from the stage! Not only do you get to experience the bands' energy up close and personal, but you get a bird's eye view of all the lively action happening in the crowd."

Christy Tracie ~ Education Coordinator

"I love working on music shows like Festival International because it's like being a magician's assistant. Just as a good magic trick is actually a carefully crafted illusion involving steps hidden from the audience, so are stage shows elaborately built experiences that consist of multiple components and hard working crews that the crowd isn't supposed to notice. It's super gratifying to get to see and be a part of those teams and watch the audience get a kick out of the show."

Matt Roberts ~ Community Production Manager

“My most memorable moments would be watching 5000K people swaying together to the sound of music.”

Ed Bowie ~ Executive Director

“The most memorable part of Festival for me every year is that no matter which position I am volunteering for, I am guaranteed to have one of the best spots to see and hear the action on stage!  It's a Festival Super-Power I don't take for granted, that’s for sure.”

Joe Ferguson ~ Content Producer   

“For me it's the machine. So many systems, technical and human, working in tandem. We create this crazy machine that needs to be nurtured and maintained show after show. It's an amazing thing.”

C. William McFarlain ~ Programming Coordinator

“Festival Internationale gives us a chance to see our downtown as it can be, thronged with bodies instead of cars.”

Jacob White ~ Production Assistant

“I most enjoy interacting with the many AOC's volunteers, friends and supporters that stop by our hospitality tent to enjoy the festival.”

Bethany Ivy ~ Office Manager

“Last year was my first experience on the AOC Camera Crew and I was so inspired by the large number of individuals in the community who stepped up to volunteer. The eagerness, willingness to learn and patience that the volunteers as well as the staff exhibited is stellar and a great example of teamwork.”

Mary Hooks Baudoin ~ Marketing Director

One important aspect in my life when attending large events, as well as many others, is accessibility. I found this detailed information on Festival’s website and mobile app and I applaud the organizers of Festival International for taking the appropriate measures to accommodate everyone:

Festival International wants patrons with disabilities to have a great festival experience. Here is information to help make that happen:

Getting there:

There is plenty of accessible parking at Cajun Field (Congress and Cajundome Blvd.)

Free accessible shuttle service is provided to downtown: Barry/Lee Avenue and . All buses are lift-equipped. Shuttles run during Festival hours.

Parking in downtown Lafayette is very difficult during the festival. The primary accessible parking in downtown is located in the municipal parking garage on Buchanan, between W. Convent and Main St. Accessible spaces there are limited and are only available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Getting around:

Festival International is located on the streets and sidewalks of downtown Lafayette. Not all sidewalks are accessible, but many of the streets are closed to vehicles, and pedestrians walk in the street. There are accessible sidewalks along Jefferson Street, along Main St. from Buchanan to Jefferson, along E. Vermillion from Lafayette to Polk, and along the front of the federal courthouse on Lafayette St.

Accessible viewing areas:

There are viewing areas reserved for people who need accessibility features near the stage at the Scène Laborde Earles Law Firm (Fais Do Do Stage) and at the Scène LUS (International Stage). You can access the ADA seating area at the Fais Do Do stage directly from Jefferson St., and at the International Stage from the Garfield entrance.

Restrooms:

There is at least one accessible port-a-let in each bank of portable restrooms at the Festival. Patrons who do not need accessibility features of these restrooms are asked not to use them.

Feedback:

The Festival and the Lafayette Mayor-President's Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities would like your feedback about access to the festival for people with disabilities. Please feel free to email us with comments, positive or negative, at:

info@festivalinternational.org

disability@lafayettela.gov

Now stop reading and go to Festival ya’ll!