I’ve never been to Minnesota, but I’ve wanted to go ever since the shopping mecca known as the Mall of America opened. Now I have another reason, a much more compelling one actually, to add this fine state to my travel bucket list – Minneapolis, MN is where the annual Internet Cat Video Festival takes place!
Yes, I heard you say that. This is likely what I also thought the first time I heard about the Internet Cat Video Festival, aka Catvidvest. Now I just say … what a great idea! That, and why didn’t someone think of this sooner? I mean, we all love to watch funny cat videos, right? What could be better than sharing the experience with thousands of other cat people?
Catvidvest is billed as an “offline celebration of online cat videos.” The live festival offers feline fanatics an opportunity to come together to watch a curated collection of cat clips in a social setting. In other words, the Internet Cat Video Festival provides people like me a much- desired way to “be among my people,” i.e., those who adore cats and aren’t afraid to tell it to the world.
The Internet Cat Video Festival began in August of 2012 as a social experiment, of sorts. The Walker Art Center wondered if anyone would show up for an event dedicated to the internet phenomenon of cat videos. After all, we can watch cat videos on our computers whenever we want, and some of us (ahem) do that more often than we should. Would a typically solo pastime translate to a public setting?
The Walker needn’t have worried. As it turns out, word of Catvidfest swiftly spread via social media and the press, and 10,000 people came out to experience the first Internet Cat Video Festival. “It’s not just about Internet cat videos, it’s about watching Internet cat videos together,” says Rachel Joyce, Assistant Director, Public Relations of the Walker Art Center.
Indeed. That camaraderie with other cat peeps is why I’d most love to be there. People have been coming together to celebrate a common interest for a long time …why not cat videos? Attendees are encouraged to wear cat costumes, and many do, if not for the costume contest then just because it’s fun to be a cat for a day. Oh, and cat ears make everyone look cool. MOL.
The 2014 Internet Cat Video Festival will be held at the Walker Art Center’s Open Field on August 14th. The free community event draws cat lovers from all over the country to watch six second Vine videos, short films and everything in between. This year’s selection of videos will be programmed by Will Braden, who received the festival’s first Golden Kitty (People’s Choice) Award in 2012 for his outstanding Henri Le Chat Noir video.
The Catvidfest Nitty Gritty
8:45 pm: Reel begins
Place: Walker Art Center/Open Field, Minneapolis, MN
If you can’t attend this year’s live Catvidfest event on August 14, your options are to: a) cry (that would be me); b) watch a live stream of the event, courtesy of Animal Planet, and follow #catvidfest on Facebook and Twitter; c) attend the encore screening of the reel in the Walker Cinema on September 4 and 7.
Also, last year’s reel is still touring the country, with events scheduled in California, Washington, Indiana, Illinois and more. You can check the schedule here.
I probably won’t be able to swing a trip to the Internet Cat Video Festival this year, but I am DEFINITELY marking my calendar for next year! Who wants to meet me in Minneapolis at the 2015 Catvidfest?
Photos courtesy of Walker Art Center
Read more articles by Julia Williams