INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A festival for cat lovers has made its way to the Indianapolis Museum of Art for the first time.
Hundreds of fans bought tickets to watch a special screening of online cat videos, and they had a chance to meet a famous cat.
“Oh, it’s mandatory, there has to be a cat festival for cat lovers. There’s chocolate festival for chocolate lovers; there’s a festival for anything,” said Heather Wagoner, who attended the festival. “So cats is number one and cats are very popular on the Internet.”
The Internet Cat Video Festival launched back in 2012 in Minnesota. Organizers said the festival has been to more than 200 cities and nine different countries.
“I just think it’s really cute,” said Lauren Schermerhorn, a 5th grader. “I don’t know. I like cats!”
Some even paid extra money to meet their favorite Internet cat named Lil’ Bub. The meet and greet cost $55 dollars. Organizers said the money will be donated to Lil’ BUB’s Big Fund and to IMA ARTx.
“She’s so tiny that the stuffed animal has to be big. She has six paws, a tongue sticking out and if you look at a picture of her when she was a baby, she’s cross eyed,” said 11-year-old James Baker. “That’s why.”
James and his sister Ella are from Knoxville, Tenn. Both said they didn’t go to school Friday. Instead, they made the six hour drive to Indianapolis with their mom for the festival.
“I love how cats on the Internet have gotten so popular, because I think it’s a source of joy,” said Ashley Baker. “Because there’s so much negativity on the Internet.”
Baker said her children are huge fans of Lil’ BUB.
“We just spent $110 in Bub merchandise then there’s the food and the drive back tomorrow, so, Bub, you’re worth it,” said Baker.
The festival also brought out fans of all ages, including one group of friends: Sara, Heather and Gail.
“I mean, people who think that it’s crazy, they really need to pump their brakes. I mean, it’s not crazy, look at us, we are good people, we all have jobs.” said Heather Wagoner from Greenwood.
The man behind the festival didn’t think it would take off the way that it did.
Scott Stulen said watching cat videos by yourself is not the same if you can do it in a social setting with thousands of others.
“I think what it really kind of tapped into is that people love sharing their passions with one another and creating a vehicle like this for people to do,” said Stulen, curator of audience experience and performance at IMA. “I think for cat culture this has become kind of our Lollapalooza in a lot of ways.”
Organizers said the screening features 45 cat videos and runs about 75 minutes long. Tickets for the screening without the meet and greet cost about $10.
Click here for a listing of tour dates near you.