Festival International de Louisiane’s annual preview party, now dubbed La Fête du Festival, was held at the Acadiana Center for the Arts Thursday night to show off this year’s festival poster and pins and introduce new festival passes.
Many attendees got their first look at the 2015 cloisonné pin design and poster, which was inspired by the official artwork Radial Forms Four #4 by local artist Troy Dugas. The celebration also featured live music from New Orleans funk and soul legends The Jon Cleary Trio, food by Joey‘s Lafayette and libations by The Lab Handcrafted Coffee & Comforts.
Guests were also introduced to festival’s new passes, which mirror the more traditional tiered VIP system found with other popular music festivals like the New Orleans Jazz Festival, where anyone, not just donors, can purchase them.
According to FIL Executive Director Missy Paschke-Wood, the concept of bringing in these new passes for this year’s festival came after a deluge of feedback from last year’s fest-goers who asked for more perks in return for their patronage, also indicating they would be willing to pay for better access to restrooms and lines for alcohol booths if the price was right. Wood says the passes also help to curb the number of outside vendors that sell at festival and potentially hurt it financially.
The 2015 Festival Passes are broken into three tiers: Lagniappe, Bon Temps and Marquis. Each pass has its own perks and offers access to special Pass Zones, which act as exclusive VIP areas at the festival.
The Lagniappe Pass offers access to three private rest stops, which are upgraded restrooms complete with their own attendant that will be set up all across Downtown Lafayette during festival week. The Lagniappe Pass is the most affordable at $50 for the Early Bird Presale before they go up to $65 after Dec. 31.
The Bon Temps Pass is a bit more diverse as it offers access to Festival Pass Zones at Scéne Lafayette, General Fais Do Do, Scéne TV5Monde Lafayette and Scéne Stabil Drill International with seating, shade and a private cash bar. It also offers access to two exclusive Pass Zones: The Rooftop at Parc Sans Souci and The Oasis at Parc de Lafayette. The Bon Temps Pass also offers access to three private rest stops and express beverage lines at the Spirit Tents. The Bon Temps Pass will be $350 for presale and $400 after.
Finally, the Marquis Pass will offer full VIP access to every corner of Festival International 2015. Building upon what the Bon Temps Pass offers, the Marquis Pass gives exclusive access to the coveted Marquis Tent, formerly the Rain Angel Tent, at Scéne Stabil Drill International with complimentary catering, an open bar and its own restroom trailer with attendant. The Marquis Pass is $850 during presale and $1,000 after.
And fear not, while these new festival passes may come with a price tag, Festival International is still completely free and always will be.
The number of passes available is limited, and each pass is only valid for one person. Public presale runs Dec. 5-31. For more information on these passes call 337-232-8086 or visit www.FestivalInternational.com/Pass.