Jazz Fest, New Orleans
aka JazzFest....This annual event takes place over a two weekend period, usually around the end of April/beginning of May. It's next scheduled for April 22-May 1, 2005. What started back in the 1970s as a relatively small scale tribute to honor the city's cultural and musical heritage has grown into an international festival of distinction today.
I've attended several JazzFests over the years, and whereas the earlier ones really showcased local talents like Mahalia Jackson, Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, and a personal favorite band - The Meters - my favorite one included a great performance by an older, wizened Bob Dylan back in the early 90s.
What adds even more character and nuance to this program are the "cultural" aspects, as well as the logistics of the layout. With stages spread out across the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course, there are musical performances happening concurrently - you can move from one stage to the other and spend the whole day intermittently jamming to gospel, zydeco, blues, jazz, folk as well as some popular artists, while visiting crafts and cultural booths depicting Acadian (Cajun) activities and history - and equally important, there are food booths set up everywhere.
This is not your average Carnival Food Court - this is a Food Festival Extravaganza where you can eat anything from alligator to shrimp etouffee...I could go on and on about the food here but it's probably better that you go directly to the jazzfest website and check things out for yourself!
New Orleans is all about festivals... Hell, I even think that it's a proven fact there are more festivals in New Orleans than there are days in the year... Perhaps one of the most famous festivals in New Orleans is Jazzfest which attracts jazz, blues and folk musicians from all over the world (as well as many from right next door).
Being the birthplace of jazz, this festival is not to be missed... It's two weeks of music, beer, Creole food and more beer outside in the warm Louisiana spring sunshine. There are several stages (7 to 10 stages) with a wide variety of musicians to choose from and all the whacky people that you'd expect to see partying in New Orleans.
And the festival definitely spills over into the streets, bars, and music venues throughout the crescent city. It's absolutely amazing how many bands cram into the city to play during Jazzfest.
Jazzfest and Voodoofest are AWESOME! Both reel in some of the best muscial entertainment you can find. Jazzfest is definitely the better known and it brings in more crowds, but Voodoofest is gaining in popularity and doesn't have the intense commercial feel that Jazzfest has. Both are well worth the effort to experience. Jazzfest is held APRIL 25 - MAY 4 (2003), which means get ready to sweat. Last year I was so hot, I thought I was going to evaporate away. Voodoofest was held November 2nd this year and the weather was perfect. However, last year it was freezing, so such is life, right? It is a safe bet that Jazzfest will always be accompanied by seriously hot and humid weather.
Examples of musical guests:
Jazzfest 2001: Melissa Etheridge, Lenny Kravitz, Counting Crows, The Neville Brothers, Jimmy Buffett, Better Than Ezra ,etc.
Voodoofest 2002: No Doubt, Garbage, Crystal Method, Counting Crows, Macy Gray, 311, Jack Johnson, etc.
An annual event held every year during the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May, this festival attracts some of the best jazz, blues, rock and other bands. The festival is held at the Fairgrounds. There are numerous stages setup throught the Fairgrounds and you can walk around to check out different bands.
Some great bands play here every year. To see who is playing, go to the website below.
This is one of the best events held here and is a must see for all music lovers.
During Jazz Fest spend your days at the Fairgrounds listening to countless bands playing on at least a dozen stages. The food is also great.
Also consider a trip to the AudoBon Zoo.
Riverboat casinos are also a good option
New Orleans Jazz Festival
April 27 - May 6 2001. This is an annual event, with some of the best Jazz music found anywhere on earth. If you like Jazz, you need to be here. Make your plans NOW.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - Great music, great food!! What else do you need? Try the Crawfish Monica - its a cheesy crawfish pie - ohhhh so good!
Second largest gathering in the state, (behind Mardi Gras). Lots of awesome music, from the Beastie Boys to Herbie Hancock. Early May. (flyer by George Rodrigue)