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2021 Llano Earth Art Fest virtual and global

The Llano Earth Art Festival is online this year with programs streamed through the LEAF website and Facebook Live on March 27-28. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell

The Llano Earth Art Festival is taking place this year, just not in person. The festival will be livestreamed from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, March 27-28.

The change was necessary due to the number of people traveling amid a pandemic from across the country and around the world to the annual earth art and rock-stacking event on the banks of the Llano River.

“A lot of the artists are from other countries,” said LEAF chair and founder Binky Morgan. “We have to start making travel arrangements in October. In October, when we made the decision (to go virtual), we didn’t know what was going to happen with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The in-person festival typically features gravity-defying rock-stacking competitions, live music and entertainment, earth-based arts and crafts, a Volkswagen bush show, and other unique activities.

People can stream this year's LEAF on the festival's website and Facebook Live. It’s not ideal, but Morgan said organizers felt it was the best decision for everyone involved. “When you organize a huge festival, it takes time. Even if we wanted to do an in-person festival, a lot of European countries (where many artists live) are in lockdown,” Morgan said. “A virtual festival is never quite the same, but there’ll be some fun surprises. What is cool is it’s truly global.”

During the virtual event, artists who have never made the Llano trip will showcase their work to a broader LEAF audience. The board already has received more than 100 videos from artists all over the world, including Antartica. Board members are reviewing the videos to ensure they’re “family-friendly,” Morgan said.

“We are thinking we’ll be able to squeeze all 100 in,” she said. “Some will be short five-minute clips. Some of the content will be pre-recorded, and some will be live right then and there. It’ll feel like one continuous broadcast.”

Two local artists – Ceto Desai and Marcus Hammons — have already submitted videos and will represent the city of Llano and the Highland Lakes.

For consideration, artists should submit MP4-format videos by email to LEAFEvent2021@gmail.com.

Morgan said she and the board will record promotional pieces at Leonard Grenwelge County Park, located on the corner of Ford and East Haynie streets in Llano. Those dates will be announced on the festival’s social media. The public is welcome to attend so long as they adhere to social distancing, she added. LEAF board members are looking forward to the event and believe people still will be fascinated by what they see.

“In some ways, it’s more impressive than in person,” Morgan added.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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