Bowling Green International Festival Goes Virtual to Promote Diversity, Sidestep Pandemic

Sep 24, 2020

Credit Jessica Mason / Bowling Green International Festival

The 30th annual Bowling Green International Festival is taking place this weekend in a way unlike ever before.

Keeping with the 2020 tradition of social distancing, this year's festival will take place for free online via live stream on the event's website and Facebook page.

Leyda Becker is the international communities liason with the city of Bowling Green, as secretary for the festival's board of directors.

She said planners looked at similar events around the nation that also went virtual, in an effort to figure out how to best convert the experience of walking around Circus Square Park and learning about different cultures to an online-only medium.

"We have tried to replicate that by having the cultural displays...in virtual format. So folks can go to the website and click on cultural displays and see all the posts of different participants," Becker said.

Part of going online means there's a need to create videos and other materials for performances, booths and vendors.

That's where VidMonster Productions, a sponsor for this year's festival, comes in.

Owner Sam Kirby says going online allows the festival to reach a broader audience.

"We've had the privilege of working since late July with a lot of different acts going to them or having them come to our studio here in Bowling Green to film, record their differencent performances...whether those are dances, music, some cultural experiences," Kirby said.

He said the festival is anticipating a turnout from across the state.