Just when it seemed that Minnesota’s Internet Cat Video Festival had burned through all of its lives, the St. Paul Saints have revived it. The baseball team said Thursday that it will host the popular show Aug. 9, in partnership with radio station myTalk 107.1.
Walker Art Center had run the event for the past four years — including last summer at the Saints’ home, CHS Field in St. Paul’s Lowertown — but decided in March that it was done with cats.
More than 13,000 fans turned out for last year’s sold-out screening, making it “easily one of the most entertaining events to take place at CHS Field during our inaugural season here,” said Derek Sharrer, the team’s general manager, in a news release.
Ticket sales will start Tuesday, with general admission at $10 — the same as last year — and VIP tickets including food and drink at $75. The Saints plan to donate $1 per ticket to Wags and Whiskers Animal Rescue of MN. Admission is free for kids 5 and younger.
Long a favorite distraction, cat videos got a high-art seal of approval when the Walker staged a festival of them on an August evening in 2012. Expecting a modest neighborhood crowd, Walker officials were startled when about 10,000 people showed up for the free event. Some drove for hours to get there. They came in kitty costumes, wore cat-themed T-shirts, and brought their pets.
The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Cat Fancy and Time magazine took note, as did Japanese television, Australian talk shows, NPR and CNN.
In 2013 it was moved to the State Fair grandstand, then returned to the Walker before playing CHS Field last August.
“We’re really excited for other people to take up the mantle and program their own festivals,” Emmet Byrne, the Walker’s design director, said when the center announced it was bowing out, and donating its festival memorabilia to the Minnesota Historical Society.
Snapping up that furball, the Saints are encouraging cat fanciers to submit their own videos to catfestmn.com.