BUKU Music + Art Project was founded in 2012 and has quickly become a destination festival for both out-of-towners and locals alike. The experience BUKU offers is quite unique: it takes place along the Mississippi River in walking distance to the French Quarter and has five independent stages, ranging from one inside of Mardi Gras World to a three story VIP-only riverboat, the S.S. BUKU.
This year, BUKU takes place March 21-22 and features national headliners like The Flaming Lips, Kaskade, and David Guetta, as well as local acts such as Big Freedia and Generationals. In addition to great music, BUKU also serves up tasty local eats from spots like City Greens, Beaucoup Juice, and Mid City Pizza, and incorporates modern street art and graffiti into the weekend’s events.
Dante DiPasquale on BUKU Fest 2014 in New Orleans
I got the scoop on BUKU from Dante DiPasquale of Winter Circle Productions, who is a co-producer of the festival.
Nikki Carter: BUKU is a relatively new festival; can you tell us about how it began?
DD: BUKU really just started as a pipe dream amongst friends to build a fun event that brought progressive music to the Deep South. Now it’s sort of become this lifestyle that reflects the creative, youthful culture that is fueling the growth of the new New Orleans.
NC: What would you say sets BUKU apart from other music festivals?
DD: I think what makes BUKU different is its quirky, boutique nature. It delivers a big festival punch without compromising its house-party vibe.
NC: What are you most excited about this year?
DD: There’s a new stage this year, the Back Alley, which brings a new element of underground dance music to BUKU with a gritty riverside DIY feel under the glow of the Crescent City Connection. That, and Nas performing “Illmatic” in its entirety and PresHall Brass collaborating with The Gaslamp Killer on the VIP riverboat.
NC: Can you tell me anything about the art projects and installations that will be going on this year? I know much of it is kept under wraps until the festival opens.
DD: We definitely like to keep the art of BUKU a surprise that will be unveiled when you arrive on site, but I can tell you that it will be bigger, better, and more tasteful than in years past. Of special note – the live graffiti gallery will feature some pretty notable graffiti artists who are flying into New Orleans for a rare event appearance.
NC: How many people do you anticipate will be in attendance this year?
DD: Between 12,000-15,000 per day.
Don’t miss out on this year’s BUKU! Check out the BUKU website for complete details on the General Admission, VIP, and Too Buku VIP passes. The VIP passes offer perks like access to after parties, open bars, and dedicated bathrooms.
All photos courtesy of BUKU Music + Art Project and were taken by aLIVE Coverage.