So moved was our steamboat pilot, that the next day he raved about the festival to his sister Pamela Moffett in a lengthy missive:
“It has been said that a Scotchman has not seen the world until he has seen Edinburgh; and I think I may say that an American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi-Gras in New Orleans. “
Our steamboat driver would later be known throughout the length and breadth of America and the world at large as the estimable writer Mark Twain.
Mardi Gras, the pre-Lenten festival, was no doubt a sight to behold but its image was amplified, its vision was lent wings in the hands of a gifted storyteller and it is has been preserved for all posterity through the medium of his gifted words.
In many ways, Mark Twain’s description of Mardi Gras was a precursor to our present day storytelling project Must Love Festivals.
Festivals are an embodiment of a sense of celebration, a joyous feeling of sharing a common love that transcends all boundaries.
This year Must Love Festivals transcended all country and state barriers and our gifted storytellers searched for this sense of celebration in the most unlikely places.
They celebrated the joy of the written word at Gibraltar’s Literary Festival. They celebrated the beauty of music at the Manchester Punk Festival, New Orleans Satchmofest and the Montreal Jazz Festival. They celebrated ancient civilisations (Jorvik Festival, York) and imperial cities (Imperial City Festival, Rothenburg). They celebrated that most humble of food items – the much-maligned vegetable called garlic and also found incandescent light at the Lumiere Festival in Durham and at the Staro Riga Festival of Light in Latvia.
What is more, our seventeen storytellers visited these festivals and have brought their thirty-six personal stories to your doorstep in the form of this e-book
I hope that you will feel moved to visit these festivals in person. Apart from providing outstanding spectacle, these festival stories will hopefully provide you with points of meaningful connectivity.
Download your copy of the 2nd edition of the Must Love Festivals e-book here.
The Winnipeg Folk Festival: Where Everyone’s Welcome
Got Jazz? Rotterdam Does, and Lots of It