Support for Festival International

In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Southern Comfort and XM Radio have pledged to support Festival International, an event celebrating Louisiana arts and culture.

Southern Comfort will pay $20,000 to sponsor one of the stages at the event, which takes place in downtown Lafayette, La. The festival’s status was uncertain after the hurricanes, but it is scheduled to run as usual April 26-30. It’s the biggest outdoor French-speaking event in the U.S.

Admission is free.

XM radio will broadcast live from the festival to a global audience on 10 stations.

“They’re not giving us money, and it’s not a traditional sponsorship-type role,” Festival executive director Dana Cañedo said. “Their way to do that is to promote us through their subscribers. It’s an added deal to us – an international audience.”

Scott Weimer, Worldzone program director for Worldspace Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio, said his company got involved because they wanted to do something to help areas affected by the hurricanes.

XM will also broadcast from Jazz Fest, which begins the same weekend in New Orleans.

This year’s Festival International features artists from around the world playing six stages.

Performers include Buckwheat Zydeco, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the subdudes, Irma Thomas & The Professionals, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Yerba Buena, The Skatalites and more.