LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN)- Many festivals across Acadiana were canceled this fall due to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases. This can have a negative impact on the tourism industry.
Patrick Mould, one of the organizers of Festivals Acadien Et Creoles, said that they were expecting folks from all across the country.
“38% percent of our audience travels a distance of 500 miles or more to get to us … France, Belgium, Haiti, Ireland, so we get a huge portion of our audience travels from outside the state of Louisiana to get to us,” Mould said
Festivals Acadien Et Creoles were hoping to return in person this fall but recently announced that they are going to postpone their three day-festival due to the recent surge of coronavirus cases.
“We were getting a tremendous amount of emails and excitement over the fact that we were possibly going to be able to go live in October, but again the surge just proved us different,” he said.
The festival was virtual last but the organizer said it wasn’t the same.
“We're in the business of producing a Cajun and Creole, Cajun and Zydeco music festival, and to go to the virtual space and try to be able to represent our culture, in a unique fashion was a little difficult and again that’s not what we do. We’re in a live music festival business,” he said.
According to Ben Berthelot, the president and CEO of the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, fall and spring are the busiest times of year that tourists visit Acadiana.
“Festival Acadien Et Creole as an example, that weekend is more than a $10 million economic benefit to our parish and the average attendee spends more than $370 dollars at that festival. All 50 states are represented and so that's certainly a big loss for us,” he said.
When a festival or event is canceled that’s one less opportunity to get people to visit Acadiana for the first time.
“Sort of the dominoes started falling when the Jazz Fest announced their cancellation. It's very hard for people to say their festival is going to move forward when you see others that are canceling. There's just a lot of public outcry on so many sides,” he said.
Festivals Acadien Et Creoles is postponed to March 18-20 of next year.