Brother Dege performs the national anthem.                              Robin May

Festival International de Louisiane opened last night to huge crowds that enjoyed excellent music under lovely evening spring skies.

And come late Friday morning, it seemed as though no one went home as downtown Lafayette was at gridlock.

Sonny Landreth opened in style at Scene Popeyes International while Bas Clas rocked out at Scene Malibu Fai Do Do. Brother Dege's stunning interpretation of the national anthem in the opening ceremonies won't soon be forgotten, and you just know that wherever the spirit of Jimi Hendrix may be, it had a big smile on its face — and probably still does.

The parade of flags carried down Jefferson Street by kids was as colorful and entertaining as only kids can be. In not such a carefree moment, a teen girl with a cute but very bewildered puppy would make a poster for why people should leave their pets at home for festivals and Downtown Alive!, for that matter.                           

While on the subject of questionable behavior, this Independent photog learned in order to get stage access a short summer skirt, cowgirl boots and a pretty face work better than a Festival media vip/scene pass. Guess I'll shave my legs and borrow a skirt. I already have the cowboy boots, and I know a little make up goes a long way.


fest_2012b  Sonny Landreth                             Dominick Cross
At both venues the multitude appeared to multiply as the night wore on for Bombino, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Ceux Qui Marchent Debout and Debo Band. It may well have been the largest Thursday night crowd in Festival history.

Local clubs were pleasantly jammed after the Festival acts closed down the stages.

Festival continues tonight through Sunday in the 26th annual running of this fabulously worthwhile event.






  Bas Clas                                                                                   Dominick Cross













  Bombino                                                           Dominick Cross

















Dancing at Blue Moon to the Bluerunners. Ceux Qui Marchent Debout later took the stage.                                                                             Dominick Cross








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