Since the beginning of our adventures in South Louisiana, Christy and I have worked hard to make The Whirlybird a unique and intimate cultural space, rather than just another public social/commercial venue focused on profit and mainstream pop culture. We have maintained a strong commitment to artistic expression and cultural traditions, and the music – and now art – and, of course, fun have never stopped. In 2006, we moved full-time to Louisiana and, surprisingly, The Whirlybird building also moved, from our camp to our permanent residence.
There is a magical story behind this move. During the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, we were forced to sell our camp, including The Whirlybird building. However, thanks to a local friend and fan who is also a house mover, The Whirlybird returned to us. Our friend knew the building’s cultural value and history and wanted to help us continue the cultural phenomenon that is The Whirlybird, so he bought the building and moved it to our permanent residence, 10 miles away.
We are not bragging when we say The Whirlybird Compound has been a source of inspiration for many American and international artists, serving as a venue for music recordings, release parties, documentary films, and international television programs and music videos – and now it is a place for heightened cultural and artistic inspiration through our Artist In Residency program.
It is a special place where people can have spiritual experiences through art, fall in love, celebrate weddings and anniversaries, enjoy crawfish boils, poetry readings and storytelling, and attend listening room concerts and full-throttle throwdown dances. In addition to these events, The Whirlybird hosts private annual Thanksgiving potluck celebrations for friends and family, which sometimes include honky-tonk dances, jam sessions, and bonfires, as well as an annual Revelers’ Lundi Gras Blowout and a Pre-Blackpot Camp Throw Down open to all. Along with our blues partner, Grant Dermody, we completed the first annual Blown Away on the Bayou Blue & Harmonica Summit. International visitors, brought by friends, also have the opportunity to experience unique American and Southwest Louisiana-style cultural traditions at The Whirlybird.
Southern Living Magazine praised The Whirlybird as a venue where “some of the biggest names in Cajun music and beyond ‘pass a good time'” and Country Roads Magazine referred to us as “educators” who “founded the Steampunk and Makers Fair in Lafayette” and have “the ability to guide people through cultural awakening.” Our aim has been to create a place where pure joy can be experienced through fostering cultural understanding and appreciation at The Whirlybird.