WEIRD NEWS

This Famous Cat Video Festival Is Going On Its Last Tour This Summer

It's your final chance to catch a screening of the Walker Internet Cat Video Festival.

Four years ago, cat videos were officially elevated to an art form.

In August 2012, more than 10,000 people turned out for the Walker Art Center's Internet Cat Video Festival in Minneapolis. The event showcases dozens of the internet’s best feline-centered short films in a little over an hour.

Sophia Bloss and Glenna Clegg of Roseville, Minnesota, painted their faces to attend the 4th annual Internet Cat Video Festiv
Sophia Bloss and Glenna Clegg of Roseville, Minnesota, painted their faces to attend the 4th annual Internet Cat Video Festival in 2014.

The festival became an annual event, featuring more videos, gaining worldwide press coverage and even going on an international tour.

But all good things (except the internet’s love for cats) must come to an end. This summer, no cat video festival will take place in Minneapolis.

“We discontinued it to put our resources towards the remodeling of our campus including the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden,” Walker Art Center spokeswoman Rachel Joyce told The Huffington Post in an email. “We felt it was time to set it free and see how others would run with the concept.”

Leroy Bergstrom of Maple Plain, Minnesota, arrives with his cat Maestro before the Walker Art Center's first Internet Cat Vid
Leroy Bergstrom of Maple Plain, Minnesota, arrives with his cat Maestro before the Walker Art Center's first Internet Cat Video Festival in 2012.

But if making a pilgrimage to the cat video festival was on your bucket list, you’re not out of luck yet. It's still touring through August, featuring videos from the 2015 festival, and will be making several stops throughout the country.

And even if you're dying to see the lineup but can't make it to any of the screenings, the 2015 reel is available for free online.

“The thing about this festival is, it hits every nuance of human emotion,” said Meredith Ferguson of the cat rescue group KittyKind. KittyKind will be hosting a benefit screening of the festival on June 29 and 30 in New York City.

Solvei Akbar, 2, sits with her mother, Ilse Akbar, at the 4th annual Internet Cat Video Festival in 2014.
Solvei Akbar, 2, sits with her mother, Ilse Akbar, at the 4th annual Internet Cat Video Festival in 2014.

While some people might write off cat videos as a silly way to waste time, Ferguson sees the festival as a testament to the power of humanity’s relationship with animals.

“Anything that can unite the community behind the animal cause is something I find amazing,” she said. “It’s amazing that cats can unite people like this. It’s amazing to physically see people across cultures, across income brackets. … Cats really do unite us.”

HuffPost

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