I attended the Internet Cat Video Festival last night at the MN State Fair. The crowd was laid back, the air muggy, and some of the biggest cat celebrities in the world were in attendance, including Grumpy Cat (aka Tardar Sauce).
I didn't attend the first film fest, due to my hating crowds and the sense I had even back then that it was going to be a huge event, but I did watch the complete "program" online when the Walker posted it. The new 2013 program is put together in a sharper, more slickly edited package, with categories such as Comedy, Drama, and Hall of Fame still remaining but sprinkled throughout the program, creating a peppier show with more variety as opposed to the category slog of last year's program. The 2012 program dragged occasionaly-2013's never really did, despite the heat and the evening hour.
There is a surreal effect created by watching any sort of film program with 10,000 people, but when 10,000 people start chanting CATS CATS CATS one feels a good old fashioned cat-based riot might be on the way. A lot of people had their faces painted like cats, and wore cat type shirts, but I guess I'd expected more crazy spectacle after a year long buildup since the last cat fest.
It's been pointed out that as this film fest continues to tour the U.S. and the world that the Walker Art Center is becoming famous for internet cat films in a way that decades of high modern art and an enormous spoon bridge failed to achieve. But of course that's how you get famous in 2013!
The state fair has hired a hundred don't stand still thugs to create a very unpleasant atmosphere for anybody not moving or sitting in their grandstand seat. Seriously, it was ridiculous-you slow down to look around and they're all over you.
People weren't allowed to bring their cats to this film festival thanks to State fair policy. Boo!
When I got home, I couldn't help but look at my own cat in a slightly new light--was I, too, living with a future celebrity?