In 2012, the Minnesota Walker Art Center hosted the Internet Cat Video Festival. This proved so popular that thousands of people attended each festival every year. Yet after hosting four successful Internet Cat Video Festivals, the Walker is quitting cats and giving all of its festival memorabilia to the Minnesota Historical Society.
“We think that cat videos will live on without us, and we’re really excited for other people to take up the mantle and program their own festivals,” said Emmet Byrne, the Walker’s design director.
It started as a lark in 2012. Needing a diversion for a balmy August evening, Walker program associate Katie Hill suggested inviting people to watch cat videos on a grassy hillside next to the museum. Staff expected a few dozen at most.
About 10,000 people showed up for the free event. Some drove hours to be there. They sported cat ears and whiskers, and cat-themed T-shirts. Many brought their cats.
The Walker Arts Center helped usher in the cat video festival craze and hopefully other cities will keep up the spirit with their own cat video festivals. Until then, you can always find plenty of cat videos on the Internet and share them with your friends.