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Issue: October 2010

By Alexander Clark Campbell

WorldFest on The Belvedere

India Day was September 18th and WorldFest was two weeks prior both held at the Belvedere. Two fabulous, fine, fantastic festivals for all of us River City tubers to get off the couch for.

WorldFest isn't just about music it strives to be (and succeeds) a genuine festival: which is, of course, concerned to generate a Festive Atmosphere Overall. Mixing, blending in, and stirring up; immersing: macerating up sights, sounds, tastes all that multi-sensory stuff.

The atmosphere/vibe of the Festival, laid out throughout Belvedere Park, was productive of a happy, energetic energy similar to that of a Chicago Grant Park or Millennium Park event — though, of course, with fewer people by Chicago standards (which is a good thing) — although it was very well-attended, by Louisville standards. The layout of the Belvedere made the tiny spot seem larger than it is — and it was a bit of a good workout for all couch potatoes, to walk around it a bunch of times. Amazing that so many people, food, and other vendors, plus all three stages, could fit snugly in the lot flanked in by the Galt House, the American Life Building, the Kentucky Art Center, and a parking garage, while still seeming to be room left over. Altogether, it was wonderful — a perfect little festival for Louisville and one that Louisville should be proud of.

The food! — some from local restaurants and local caterers, and others supplied by our local immigrant communities. A plentiful array of delicious potables, edibles, comestibles, and ingestibles to partake of and sample. So much to try — no way one could taste most or even many of the gustatory offerings. What to do?

I found a stall that served Ethiopian coffee for a dollar, freshly brewed right on the grass, prepared the Ethiopian way, with a nice aroma of Ethiopian incense that one cannot buy here. The coffee bean, along with humankind. started in Ethiopia, side by side, millennia ago — and of course are still inseparable. Is it possible our species, with its higher thought, language capability and tool-use, was only made possible by ingesting the coffee bean? Certainly fits my morning experience.

There were three stages, which featured simultaneous performances so the variety of choice was kept at a high level, even if that meant that sometimes there were two acts one might be interested in, performing at the same time. Ah, well there's always next year. However, for better or worse, I missed out on the exercise enthusiasts (twice), performing Zumba on — yes — the Latin Stage._

A lot of people, including me, thought that the Fountain Stage was the Main Stage. It was my favorite performing venue, with the right degree of intimacy, lighting, the comforting visual stimulation of refreshing water on a somewhat hot day and food nearby. The Latin Stage (dubbed Fiesta Latina and sponsored by local Latino Paper Al Dia America http://www.aldiaenamerica.com) was the hardest to hear, but it was a good change of pace to go up and visit — right on the concrete section of the Belvedere overlooking the river, with the Harlequin-Romance version of George Rogers Clark and the sylvan/Pan-like York statues also enjoying the festivities.

Read more at louisvillemusic.org/terrabeat

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