Whilst the chance to attend a ‘festival’ will now be gone for the year for any Northern Hemisphere residents who associate the word with camping outside for a summer music event, there are still plenty of themed events to attend around the world bearing the name which are open to the open-minded, one of which being the opportunity to attend the second annual ‘Internet Cat Video Festival’.
Having last year managed a successful event at the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis (USA), it appears as though the event will not remain in a single traditional home like the more renowned festivals of film, instead spreading the footage old and new of feline antics across the world.
The destination of the 2013 edition of the festival will for the first time be Europe, with the city of Derry (Northern Ireland) this week playing host to the event, which will begin tomorrow (12 September).
Aimed at once more ‘celebrating the wide variety of internet clips featuring cats’, the festival will aim to replicate the attendance of over 10,000 people in 2013, with the lead screening of cat videos this year being at the ‘Café Soul’ at 8pm on 12 September, with additional ‘pop-up screenings’ expected to occur throughout Derry over the forthcoming week.
Scott Stulen, the curator of the Walker Art Centre, said of the fresh event that will be staged: “Internet cat videos are doing all of the things compelling art should: they raises questions, challenge assumptions, anger people and create emotional connections. The Internet Cat Video Festival is a platform to use this popular content to create an un-ironic and genuine experience. Simply, this is more than a collection of cute cat videos, but rather an embrace of an internet phenomena and experiment to transform a solitary online viewing experience into a real world social event. It’s not about watching cat videos, it’s about watching cat videos together.”
While not quite a mew-sical setting, the most hardcore fans of kittens from Northern Ireland, the UK as a whole, and possibly a wider scale, will be attracted in their droves to enjoy the best the internet has to offer cat-wise, so will the event’s cuteness and humour remain the ideal formula to see the festival into a third year? For those that can’t attend or want to get in the mood for a trip to Derry, please enjoy a popular hour-long compilation of the format:
Addressing the fact that ‘cat’ and ‘café’ are in the same sentence in this story, it should be pointed out that the Northern Irish are not the first to conceive this combination, with Japan, as ever, leading the way in such ‘unorthodox’ concepts: