Chances are that during your undergraduate years you attended a music festival or two. You may have gone to Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza, Voodoo, Hangout, or one of the many other festivals held across the country. Whichever one you attended, you probably paid a few hundred dollars for the entry ticket and then had to travel quite a distance to experience it.
Well, if you choose to study at UL Lafayette, you won’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars to see incredible bands -- because you can get that experience right here in Lafayette! One of the many benefits of pursuing your graduate studies at UL Lafayette is that we host one of the world’s most popular music festivals and, best of all, it’s completely free!
Festival International de Louisiane is the largest free international music and arts festival in the United States. The annual five-day festival, held the final weekend of April, is a welcome diversion for grad students dealing with the dreaded end-of-semester final push. The festival transforms downtown Lafayette (less than a mile from UL Lafayette) into a buzzing hub of artistic activity with seven music stages, artist booths and exhibitions, theater productions, performances art, and endless food options.
Well over 300,000 people attended last year’s festival, which included musicians and artists from 48 states and from over 25 different countries. This year, it’ll welcome performers from over 20 countries. This cultural melting pot of artists and attendees alike creates a truly amazing international vibe that embodies the global spirit that is synonymous with Festival International.
Festival International places a special emphasis on the connection between the Acadiana region and the larger Francophone world, but all types of musical performances are featured. This year’s lineup includes many local and national U.S. artists, as well as bands from Chile, China, Canada, France, Haiti, India, Israel, Russia, and Zimbabwe – to name just a few.
As an avid Festival International enthusiast, and former grad student at UL Lafayette, I can attest that the festival is the ideal way for graduate students to let off some steam and gives you a chance to relieve some of that end-of-semester stress. It’s also ideal for grad students because it takes place in your own backyard and—perhaps most importantly for the struggling grad student—it does not cost anything to attend (though donations help keep the festival free).
Festival International brings in some of the biggest names in world music. Organizers are dedicated to celebrating native cultures and providing a unique global experience that will expose you to a whole new world of music that you may not have even known existed. Festival International is one of Lafayette’s premier events that will definitely help you to fall in love with the city and community.
Allons au festival!
Image Credit: Festival International de Louisiane