As we head into warmer days here in the Coachella Valley, there is still plenty to experience in the great outdoors. From exceptional hiking and golf to world-class spas, restaurants, and shopping, we have an embarrassment of amenities to enjoy. However, if you need a break from our local activities or want stimulation in a different way, the virtual events highlighted below are great ways to learn about other cultures, get moving in your living room, enjoy some live music from a broad array of artists, and other unique and engaging topics to explore.
Duluth Homegrown Music Festival
Starting out with 5 local bands performing at an epic birthday party in 1999, the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival has turned into an 8-day community celebration of music, art, and an all-out Midwest cultural extravaganza. With a variety of fresh virtual performances streaming this year, there are plenty of local musicians, poets, storytellers, and more to entertain you. All of this year’s content will be virtual in the interest of public health and safety, giving people from all corners of the world the opportunity to tune in and check out some of the best local acts from Duluth, Minnesota.
Iowa New Play Festival
Catch virtual performances and daily staged readings of 4 new works written by undergraduate and MFA playwrights. Taking place exclusively online, this is an opportunity to experience art in its purest form from up-and-coming leaders in theatre and the creative world.
More information, including performance dates and times, can be found by visiting the Iowa New Play Festival page on the University of Iowa’s website.
Milwaukee Film Festival
Enjoy a buffet of delightful film and filmmaking treats at the virtual edition of the Milwaukee Film Festival. In addition to a lineup of films for your enjoyment, the festival will be broadcasting nightly talk-show host conversations with filmmakers, panels, and more. You can purchase passes for all films and content (starting at $160 through May 5th or $175 May 6th-20th) or elect to purchase individual tickets, which are $8 a piece.
West Valley Island Cultural Festival
Immerse yourself in a celebration of music, dance, and culture at the West Valley Island Cultural Festival. Taking place online over Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube, you can check out virtual performances, workshops, and demonstrations from some of the best instructors in Arizona and guest artists beyond the state’s borders. This festival includes something for all levels of experience and interest and is a fun way to celebrate our diversity – and get moving in the process.
Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Sign up for free to experience the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, featuring a lineup of inspiring short films centered around adventure and the environment. The full 2-hour film program will air at 7pm on Friday, May 21st, and then will be available to watch on-demand until May 28th.
To participate in the film festival, you simply need to register to receive the link to watch the programming. Enjoy these riveting and well-done shorts while also learning about Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) work on the Peninsula and South Bay in the San Francisco Bay Area.
For more details and to register for the festival, check out the Wild & Scenic Festival website page.
The Maryland Iron Festival
Revel in the unique history of ironmaking in Maryland at The Maryland Iron Festival live from Catoctin Furnace. This free online event, put on by the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, transports you to the past with traditional blacksmithing demonstrations, live music, archaeological talks about the Catoctin Furnace, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, tours of the garden and trails, and more. Learn more about Catoctin Furnace, a critical component to the industrial revolution in the United States prior to the Civil War.
For more information on this fascinating historical site, details on The Maryland Iron Festival, or to register for free tickets, head over to the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society’s website.
Palm Springs Bachata and Salsa Festival
Whether you’re a dancing expert or a novice, the Palm Springs Bachata and Salsa Festival gets your feet moving, hips swaying, and heart pounding. Some of the top dancers from around the world, including right here in Southern California, teach you new techniques and moves with online workshops over this 2-day celebration of Bachata and Salsa dancing. Tickets are $60, inclusive of online instruction and videos from each instructor for practicing on your own. Online sessions start at 10am on Saturday, May 22nd, and end at 6pm on Sunday, May 23rd.
If you would like to learn more and purchase tickets, check out the festival’s EventBrite page.
Florida Folk Festival
Celebrate the rich culture and heritage that make “The Sunshine State” unique at the Florida Folk Festival. This 3-day online event, held over Memorial Day weekend, features stories, music, dance, crafts, and more to call attention to the state’s generations of diverse immigrants and families. From food demonstrations to an eclectic array of live music, and so much more, there’s something for everyone to enjoy from afar. Check out the Florida Folk Festival’s YouTube channel and Facebook page to experience the excitement.
Northwest Folklife Festival
Head to the Facebook and Twitch accounts for the Northwest Folklife Festival to celebrate cultural diversity. Now in its 50th year, the Northwest Folklife Festival aims to preserve cultural arts and celebrate what makes us unique by “demystifying” our differences and creating connections between our heritage and our identity. With a focus on the Pacific Northwest, the festival will spotlight the region’s unique and diverse culture by exploring our past, present, and future. By knowing our roots, we can live a more fulfilling present and lay the framework for a better future.
For more information on the Northwest Folklife Festival, check out its page on the Northwest Folklife website.