Crawfest integrates virtual programming


Mike Weilandt, Staff Reporter

Tulane’s annual food and music festival, Crawfest, will be held virtually this year, in adjustment to COVID-19 safety protocols. 

Like most festivals, concerts and other events planned for 2020 and after, the planners of Crawfest 2021 had to take the COVID-19 pandemic into account. The festival is now planned for April 17 and will be viewable online through the Crawfest Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as on their website.

This year’s Crawfest will not be strictly virtual. According to Tulane senior Dani Vinokur, the current festival director, there will be an in-person element as well. 

“We’re going to have a series of pre-recorded performances and some live performances,” Vinokur said. “You can livestream it from our website. That’s open to anyone that wants to join.” “We will also be distributing food on Tulane’s campus to people with a Tulane ID … [and] food will also be available to graduate students on campus.”

While the performance lineup has yet to be announced, various acts have been confirmed. Vinokur said these will be announced in late March or early April.

The transition to an online format began early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We started planning pretty early,” Vinokur said. “As soon as the last Crawfest was canceled, we were like ‘ok, how do we think it’s going to look next year’ … We just wanted to make something happen, and we decided an online music festival would be pretty unique and cool.”

Despite the changes, students and faculty are interested in attending the festival. The appeal of events like this, however, still remains in the ability to interact with others.

Tulane campus minister Josiah Carey feels optimistic about the virtual festival. 

“I think I’m likely to attend,” Carey said. “I usually like to attend Crawfest, and it still sounds like fun.”

Others, like Tulane student Cece Acosta, say they are unsure about attending virtually.

“Honestly, I don’t love Zoom programming, so I don’t know if I would want to attend an online festival,” Acosta said. “To me, the appeal of Crawfest would be going and hanging out with everyone, and that doesn’t really seem feasible this year.”

While the festival’s performances will be online, there will still be an opportunity for limited gathering on campus. 

Crawfish, supplied as always by Johnny’s Seafood, will be distributed in the dining pavilion on campus. The livestream of musical performances will also be played in this location, so there remains an opportunity for attendees to convene with other festival-goers. 

This is only available to Tulane affiliates whereas the festival is usually attended by community members from New Orleans and beyond. According to Vinokur, some fly in from other states specifically for Crawfest. 

This year’s festival may not be what Tulanians are used to, but there will still be opportunities to eat crawfish and listen to live music, and Vinokur is optimistic and happy with the work that has been put in.

“Everyone on our team is so dedicated to bringing something to the community,” Vinokur said. “Honestly, planning has been hard, but it has been made so much easier because they’ve been so passionate and excited about making something happen.”

  Crawfest will be taking place on April 17, 2021. Tulane students and affiliates can join online through the festival’s social media accounts, which are listed below.


Instagram: @tulanecrawfest

Twitter: @crawfesttulane

Facebook: Crawfest at Tulane University

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