Last year, just days before the inaugural Providence International Arts Festival, GQ declared Providence “the coolest city in America,” and the ensuing festival left no doubt why. This year, it’s back with a new name (PVDFest), 13 stages, and more than 500 artists, proving once again that Providence is America’s next “It City.” Here are just a few of the many reasons to support that claim:
1. Providence Meets the World, the World Meets Providence
PVDFest brings in talent from all around the world and showcases it on stage with the brightest local stars. At this year’s festival you’ll see global stars of world music like Ghanaian reggae artist Rocky Dawuni, the legendary Afro-Cuban All Stars, and the red hot “Bhangra funk” of India-by-way-of-Brooklyn’s Red Baraat, alongside the Creative Capital’s own Malian master drummer Sidy Maiga, Latin music ensemble Salsa y Gaitas, and raucous street band What Cheer? Brigade.
2. Lots of Aht
Local artists will turn Downtown into a veritable wonderland of creative placemaking and art installations. Providence Implantations will present an immersive pavilion and animated multimedia experience. The Steel Yard will use a 100-year-old coal forge to demonstrate blacksmithing. Overspray Studios will live paint a large-scale design inspired by the Creative Capital. And that just barely scratches the surface.
3. It’s Free
The festival runs June 2-5, with events planned around the city for all four days (some of which are ticketed), but the big centerpiece of the whole weekend is on Saturday, June 4. That’s when PVDFest takes over Downtown for an all day and night celebration of everything that makes the Creative Capital America’s Coolest City.
Oh, and did we mention the dinosaurs?