Internet cat video festival comes to Londonderry

CultureTECH cat
Image caption Furry friends are welcome at CultureTECH

The phenomenon of internet cat videos is having its own festival in the UK City of Culture.

Family felines acting cute, funny, clumsy and just plain odd is being celebrated as part of CultureTECH, a week-long celebration of digital technology, media and music.

The Internet Cat Video Festival in Londonderry features a programme of internet clips submitted by fans.

Event organiser, Scott Stulen, said: "It's about embracing the phenomenon."

Image caption Nyan Cat shot to popularity when this image was animated and put to Japanese music

Nyan cat singing

Internet cat videos, added Mr Stulen, are doing "all of the things compelling art should".

"They raise questions, challenge assumptions, anger people and create emotional connections," he said.

"The Internet Cat Video Festival is a platform to use this popular content to create an un-ironic and genuine experience."

Some of the videos, which have received millions of YouTube hits, include Maru the cat jumping in and out of boxes, Fatso playing the keyboard and the Nyan cat singing.

Mr Stulen added: "This is more than a collection of cute cat videos, but rather an experiment to transform a solitary online viewing experience into a real world social event.

Image caption Keyboard Cat is just one of the viral feline superstars shared by millions on the web

"It's not about watching cat videos, it's about watching cat videos together."

Fancy dress

CultureTECH festival director Mark Nagurski said: 'I'm sure there are some really interesting debates to be had about the nature of art or the online/offline nature of internet communities.

"The whole festival is about celebrating how technology and the web are changing arts and culture.

"If I'm completely honest though, we just think that this is going to be huge fun."

Organisers suggested that people arrive in fancy dress and furry friends were equally welcome.

The event, which will celebrate clips submitted by cat fans online, was held in Derry city centre at 20:00 BST.

The first cat video festival was held in Minnesota in 2012 and attracted thousands of people.

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