Walker Art Center is moving its internationally celebrated Internet Cat Video Festival to the new St. Paul Saints stadium Aug. 12.
The one-night event, which attracted more than 11,000 fans last year, has outgrown the grassy hillside next to the Walker where it was staged, said Rachel Joyce, a Walker spokeswoman.
The $63 million CHS Field, scheduled to open in May in St. Paul's Lowertown district, has only 7,000 seats but a capacity of 13,000 when people are seated on the field, "just like they've done for concerts in the past" at the old Saints stadium, Joyce said.
The festival was free at the Walker, but there will be a "nominal" charge for this year's event. Tickets were $10 in 2013 when the event was held at the Minnesota State Fair grandstand. Tickets will go on sale June 2.
Since its launch in 2012, the festival has become a cat-fan phenomenon that's attracted attention from the BBC, Japanese television, Australian talk shows, Brazilian newspapers and such specialized venues as Cat Fancy and CHEEZburger. Its Golden Kitty (people's choice) awards have helped turned ordinary pets into celebrities.
Will Braden, whose video about his laconic pal, Henri Le Chat Noir, won the first Golden Kitty, gave up his day job and now promotes Henri and his spinoff merchandise full-time. Braden will curate a selection of videos from which the 2015 Golden Kitty will be picked through online voting starting in June.