LIME: A sweet idea for local musicians

by Dominick Cross

The Louisiana International Music Expo, held during Festival International, capitalizes on Louisiana's largest cultural export...music. And it's working.

It won't be on the main stage, but that doesn't make the Louisiana International Music Expo (LIME) less of cool deal during Festival International de Louisiane, set for downtown Lafayette, April 25-29.

Set for Friday, 1-4:30 p.m., at the Blue Moon, 215 E. Convent St., LIME is geared for local musicians and it will also be a showcase with selected bands performing, too.

So it only makes sense that with music being the major cultural export of Louisiana - as well as the state's main cultural attraction - to have an event such as LIME.

It comes down to a networking opportunity for local musicians in a mixer style event to share their music with prominent music presenters and talent buyers from Louisiana, across the country and around the world.

"It's an opportunity for local musicians to meet presenters from other festivals," says Apiyo Obala, marketing coordinator at Festival. Obala says the Moon's environment allows local, unsigned musicians to meet and talk with festival presenters in a casual atmosphere. "It's a perfect fit because it's a musical expo and the Blue Moon is really well known for the types of performances they have there."

LIME came about as a response to an increased effort by the Office of (then) Lt. Governor and the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism's appeal to institutions state-wide to look for new and innovative ways to boost Louisiana's cultural economy.

LIME forms a network between artists and presenters, but it also aligns with the state of Louisiana's efforts to increase economic wealth of Louisiana by creating jobs and futures.

LIME is directly responsible for booking Louisiana musicians at Lincoln Center Music Festival (Washington, D.C.), World Music Institute (New York), Marabi Productions/Musiques-Metisses Festival (France), Citifolk Festival (Dayton, Ohio), Blues Passion Festival (France), Lake Eden Arts Festival (North Carolina), Red River Revel Music Festival (Louisiana), Festivals Acadiens de Caraquet (New Brunswick), Rhythm & Roots Festival (Rhode Island), Savannah World Music Festival (Georgia), Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada), and others.

The expo, presented by the Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission is free for Acadiana area musicians, bands and presenters, and $5 for the general public. All genres are invited, including blues, Cajun, zydeco, Louisiana Roots Rock, folk, Swamp Pop, jazz/swing, singer/songwriter, Gospel, and children's music.