The area around Lafayette, Louisiana, known as Acadiana, or informally, Cajun Country, is replete with festivals. However, for world music fans, Festival International is the clear standout. Usually falling on one of the weekends of The New Orleans JazzFest, Festival International is a common stop-over, as it is free! Festival International de Louisiane will be held April 25-May 29, 2012.
Festival International was founded in 1986 to promote Louisiana's French cultural heritage, presenting bands from France, French Canada, Africa, the Caribbean, as well as, to a lesser degree, other heritage elements, such as Latin and Anglo-Saxon. Over the years, pretty much everybody who's anybody in the world music scene has performed on the Festival stages.
Festival International is free. Totally free. Food, craft and beverage vendors are available for a price, as are crafts and art, but to see the music, you don't need to pay a thing. However, you can support the festival by pledging them money directly, or by buying lots of stuff: T-shirts, posters, baseball caps and pins are all for sale.
Readers' Choice Awards:
Festival International won "Best World Music Festival" in the 2012 About.com World Music Readers' Choice Awards, with thousands upon thousands of votes in their favor.