January 21, 2019
The Festival International de Louisiane
Posted by: Mae Mayeux
The Festival International de Louisiane is the largest international music and arts festival in the entire United States. For five days every April, Lafayette transforms into a diverse and thriving mecca for art, music, and live performance. The festival features performances by musicians from over 20 countries along with workshops, exhibits, visual art, theater, and other performance art pieces. Special emphasis is placed on Acadiana and the Francophone world, but the festival also branches out to feature artists from all around Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Its mission is to broaden cultural awareness and deepen global art appreciation while providing guests with a high quality entertainment experience. This ticketless, community-driven event proves that art and music have the power to connect us all, no matter our geographic, political, linguistic, or cultural differences.
Musical performances happen across six stages on all five days of the festival. The festival is committed to introducing guests to emerging artists and diverse musical forms that they might not otherwise listen to. You’ll hear Cajun music, Zydeco, jazz, classical, electronic, folk, blues, soul, country, pop, flamenco, reggae, and pretty much every genre you can imagine, plus many you’ve probably never even heard of. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and check out new music like Czech Glamtronic, West African griot kora, or Afro-Cuban hip-hop. The official festival schedule will not be released until February 22nd, so check their website soon to see what acts will be heading to Lafayette this April.
The festival has more to offer than just music, though we promise that is enough to leave you satisfied for all five days. The arts & crafts fair at the festival is also unbeatable. You could spend all day browsing the countless stalls and booths selling everything from Oaxacan textiles to Indonesian sculpture. It is like taking a trip around the globe, without having to break out your passport. You’ll find paintings, pottery, mixed media sculptures, artisan jewelry, clothing, and a variety of other one-of-a-kind handcrafted items. It’s a world market in the truest sense of the word.
Because the festival is international in focus, we can guarantee that the food will also be incredible. Lafayette's location in the heart of Acadiana means it boasts a diverse array of culinary influences, mixing Spanish, French, and African flavors with traditional Cajun cuisine. All chefs working the festival are committed to creating inventive and delicious dishes that truly maintain the spirit of the Festival International. To burn off some of those calories, consider participating in the Courir 5K, which winds through beautiful downtown Lafayette and helps fund this festival.
If you come with the kids, they will have a blast at the Festival Children’s Area, or the Scene de Jeunes. There they will enjoy kid-friendly musical performances, face painting, arts, crafts, and cultural displays. It is a great way for kids to learn about the world while also having a great time and making new friends.
This year, the Festival International will take place from April 24th through April 28th. Though the festival is free, it is a good idea to purchase a festival pass in advance. Passes help you skip the long lines and grant you front row seats, express beverage service, and private, air-conditioned restrooms. For the perfect home base during your time at the festival, consider booking a stay at the Mouton Plantation Bed & Breakfast in Lafayette, a Louisiana Bed & Breakfast Association property, or our member B&Bs in the surrounding areas of Breaux Bridge, Abbeville, Rayne and Kaplan.
Planning a trip to Lafayette for this year’s Festival International de Louisiane? Book a stay at one of the Louisiana Bed & Breakfast Association's many charming properties located all across the region.