"We feel that what we put out, nobody can duplicate," says Charles, the festival director and president of the Southern Development Foundation. "Nobody can duplicate the experience of hearing their favorite band on the main stage of the original Zydeco Festival. You have to be in that bean field."
The event celebrates its 25th birthday this year, still content in the fields of rural Plaisance. A committee from the Holy Ghost Catholic Church ' headed by the Rev. Albert J. McKnight ' started the event as a way to galvanize the Creole community. At the time, many feared for the future of the Creole identity and wondered if the zydeco genre would escape its local roots. The committee decided its community would reconnect through music and increase its solidarity for future generations. The snap bean field was fitting ' as the term zydeco comes from its French expression "les haricots," meaning "beans." Later, the Southern Development Foundation began organizing the event, the festival serving as the nonprofit community group's largest fund-raiser. "If we can revitalize the music, we can revitalize the culture," says Charles.
This year continues the tradition of honoring the legends of zydeco and building the music up for the next generation. The lineup is an unbeatable list of the best in zydeco, including new-generation bandleaders Curley Taylor and Geno Delafose (pictured). Each year the festival also gives an up-and-coming band a slot. "Once you have played at the main stage, you have arrived," says Charles.
Though this year's emerging artist is LA 31, the true twist at the festival is the booking of Jamie Bergeron & The Kickin' Cajuns. The band is well established among local crowds and a huge draw, but the presence of a Cajun band performing a hybrid of Cajun, zydeco and mainstream music (covers of classic rock) is a first for the festival. Laughs Charles, "He [Bergeron] knows he is going to have to come up to the plate with zydeco."
As Charles sees it, the timing is right for Bergeron, and the mix of styles is perfect. Plus, she sees zydeco as colorblind, pointing out the many white fans who frequent the event and local dances. "It has been 25 years of bringing cultures together."
The main-stage lineup for the 2007 Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Festival in Plaisance on Saturday, Sept. 1: LA 31, 10:30 a.m.; Jamie Bergeron & The Kickin' Cajuns, 1 p.m.; Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie, 3 p.m.; Step Rideau & The Zydeco Outlaws, 5 p.m.; Keith Frank & The Soileau Zydeco Band, 7 p.m.; JJ Callier & The Zydeco Knockouts, 9 p.m.; Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble 10:30 p.m.; Chris Ardoin & NuStep, midnight. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the gate. For more info, visit zydeco.org or call (337) 942-2392.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.