Festival International de Louisiane bested Festival au Desert, Tombouctou, Mali; globalFEST, New York City; Globalquerque, Albuquerque, N.M.; and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Washington, D.C., for Best World Music Festival.
Festival International de Louisiane was just named Best World Music Festival in the 2012 the About.com Readers' Choice Awards.
"Well, clearly we're excited about it," says Dana Baker, executive director of Festival International. "And it's a humbling award considering who we were up against, too."
And that included Festival au Desert, Tombouctou, Mali; globalFEST, New York City; Globalquerque, Albuquerque, N.M.; and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Washington, D.C.
"Everyone's very proud. Of course we think Festival's great, well, obviously more than great and now everyone else is going to know it, too," says Baker.
Baker says the accolade doesn't apply any additional pressure on the event, no more than those who put on Festival do in the first place.
"Our organization already puts a lot of pressure on to make sure that it's always new, and fresh," says Baker. "We're innovative about things and don't get stuck doing the same thing just because it's the way we've been doing it.
"So I think we already put our own pressure on it," she says. "We're definitely looking at it with a critical eye all the time, trying to grow, make improvements, and evolve and whatnot."
The latest title for Lafayette is shared with everyone involved with Festival, Baker says.
"I think it's rewarding, certainly, for not just obviously the board and the staff and the organization, but for volunteers, for donors, for Festival goers that have been supporters for a long time by even just coming to Festival," says Baker. "For he people of Lafayette, it's pretty cool. We were just Tastiest Town, now we're the Best World Music Festival."
Baker says she and the staff were discussing what someone posted on Facebook when it was announced that Festival was chosen Best World Music Festival: "i keep telling people lafayette is the capital of the world..."
"Well, now we'll be happy to welcome people to the new capitol of the World, Lafayette," Baker says.