Festival International de Louisiane’s 2016 music lineup has been released, honoring its 30th anniversary by welcoming some of the world’s top performers, including France’s CharlElie Couture, Martinique’s DéDé St. Prix, Australia’s The Waifs and Israel’s new up-and-coming female group A-WA.
The lineup for the five-day free festival in downtown Lafayette, scheduled April 20-24, will feature performers representing 25 regions and countries, welcoming back some performers from the first festival in 1986, while also being the first in the U.S. to introduce some of the world’s newest up-and-coming artists.
“Because it is our 30th anniversary, we’re excited to welcome back bands from previous years as a nod to the history of Festival,” said festival marketing director April Courville. “We are also excited to welcome new bands to the festival as well.”
Courville said she is particularly excited about the Israeli group A-WA.
“This is one of their first performances in the U.S., so festivalgoers will be able to see one of their very first performances,” she said. “They are new and fresh with dancing, harmonization and energetic beats. This will be especially exciting for college students and young people; I think they’ll dig it.”
Holding the largest record for on-site CD sales in the festival’s history, The Waifs, from Australia, will be returning as one of the festival’s most requested bands.
DéDé St. Prix’s traditional international folk music, sung in both French and Spanish, also is being welcomed back.
“Longtime goers will remember him from the early days and are going to really appreciate him returning,” Courville said.
France’s international superstar CharlElie Couture will be performing the results of a recent musical project with several local artists.
In addition, Alpha Blondy & the Solar System, from the Ivory Coast, and Boogat, of Québec, will be performing.
Cimarrón, of Colombia; Rocky Dawuni, of Ghana; Daby Touré, of Mali/Mauritania; Delgrès, of Paris; The Garifuna Collective, of Belize; Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire, of New Brunswick; Vishtèn, of Prince Edward Island; Pierre Kwenders, of Democratic Republic of Congo; and West Trainz, of Québec, are among the new artists to perform at the festival.
Also returning to the stage are Manitoba’s Chic Gamine and Burundi’s Burundi Drummers.
“We have people who have now grown up going to this festival, and not many music festivals can say that,” Courville said. “It’s very special. We’ve now been around for 30 years, and the only way we can remain a constant in this community is by community support. Volunteers, sponsors, donors and the people of Lafayette are the reason we’ve been able to make this festival happen for the past 30 years.”
To view the lineup, visit lineup.festivalinternational.org.