The line was far down the street and those without tickets purchased in advance were unable to even get in the door. But this wasn’t a rock show or dance party — this was the Internet Cat Video Festival.
The Internet Cat Video Film Festival originated at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN. It simply is a compilation of videos from the Internet of cats and kittens. The turnout for the outdoor event was so huge that the festival decided to go on tour.
The tour included stops all over America, but reached its final destination Saturday, Jan. 25 in LA. Perhaps it was the live appearances of Grumpy Cat and Keyboard Cat, but the show at the Echoplex rapidly sold out.
A lot of participants were dressed up like cats or in cat T-shirts or cat-printed clothing — thanks, H&M! — and it seemed the one thing on everyone’s mind was getting a photo of themselves with Grumpy Cat and immediately Instagramming, Twittering, Facebooking, SnapChatting and Vining it all over the Internet. Pretty meta.
Many tweets hashtagged #catvidfest indicated the crowd was just too large for the room, with ample complaints about being unable to see the giant screen. However, most stuck around and parents found ways to prop their children up to acceptable heights.
The fest began with several minutes of strange, ethereal trance music performed by a number of musicians in cat costumes while acid-inspired projections of cats took over the screen. After what seemed like too long, cat curator William Braden showed up and introduced Keyboard Cat, Nyan Cat creator Christopher Torres, and Grumpy Cat and her owner (right?), Tabby.
The takeaway seemed to be that if you put a cat on something (not a bird, Portlandia), success may come easy for you.
75 minutes of cat videos later, some lucky fans got their chance with the Marilyn Monroe of cats, Grumpy Cat. Who is really not all that grumpy, Tabby assures us, it’s just her adorable, little face.
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