An estimated 6,000 cat lovers gathered in Oakland on Saturday for the Internet Cat Video Festival. Yes, you read that right—Internet Cat Video Festival.
The street festival, described on its website as “celebrating felines and exploring the low art of Internet cat videos together, in real-time,” took place on two blocks of Grand Avenue between Telegraph and Broadway, and featured much more than just videos. In addition to live music on the “Save a Kitten” stage, there were also ample “Cativities” (a mouse toss, cat face painting, clay cat sculpting) and “Kitty City,” an assortment of two dozen vendors hawking cat-inspired wares, like cat toys, cat food and cat apparel.
Oh, and there were cats. Five adoption agencies—the East Bay SPCA, Cat Town, Hopalong Animal, Island Cat Resources and Adoption and the Feral Cat Foundation—had booths set up with cats and kittens available for adoption. Festivities continued all afternoon, until the sun went down and dozens of cat videos were projected onto The Great Wall of Oakland, the exterior of an Uptown building.
The event was a collaboration between The Great Wall of Oakland and the Walker Art Center, located in Minneapolis, and all proceeds went to benefit the East Bay SPCA. The Walker Art Center held the first Internet Cat Video Festival in August, 2012. Since then, the center has received more than 50 requests for events all over the country, including Austin, Memphis, and Portland, OR.
This post was amended to correct the number of attendees from 2,500 to 6,000, and to add Island Cat Resources & Adoption.