It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas. Festival season in New Orleans and most importantly – Jazz Fest! Whether you’re attending the many concerts for the festival or catching phenomenal after shows at venues across New Orleans, this is a weekend full of stellar music, culture and company. So join us in the festivities and happy weekend, NOLA!
1. Jazz Fest Music – The largest festival in New Orleans is back and the first group of concerts starts on Friday and goes through Sunday. Over the weekend, you can catch anything from John Mayer to Kermit Ruffins. For those who haven’t attended the festival yet, it is an all-day musical and cultural extravaganza that takes place at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course located at 1751 Gentilly Boulevard. Since the festival is held in a more residential part of the city, parking in surrounding neighborhoods is not recommended. Gray Line Tours will operate continued round trip transportation and you can get more information about parking and transportation on the Jazz Fest website.
2. More Jazz Fest – Jazz Fest actually has a lot more to it than many think. Separate from stellar music, there’s also delicious food booths serving up anything from Crawfish Monica to refreshing sno-balls. The food alone is a reason to attend the festival and the Jazz Fest website gives the entire food menu as well as where to find each booth. Pretty helpful, if you ask me! There’s also multiple craft sections that include the diverse works of many regionally and nationally acclaimed artists in different locations throughout the festival. So while you’re snacking and taking a break from the concerts, be sure to swing by and admire the exquisite work of some of the most talented artisans around!
3. Howlin Wolf Fest by Night – After the Jazz Fest concerts wrap up, Howlin’ Wolf is the place where many head and it’s clear as to why. This year they’re bringing in the heavy hitters to entertain the masses! The stellar line-up includes shows by Anders Osborne, Rebirth Brass Band and more. Another perk is they don’t clear the room – which means one ticket gets you two rooms of music all night. Pretty awesome, right? Get more information and your tickets on the Howlin Wolf website.
4. Fess Jazztival – Jazz Fest weekend isn’t complete without making it to a late night Fess Jazztival concert at Tipitina’s. You may or may not catch the sunrise over Napoleon Avenue after one of these shows but isn’t that the beauty of it all? This year they’re kicking off the first round of shows with the North Mississippi Allstars. Their Golden Ticket Package offers VIP access to all show entry for two, line-cutting privileges, commemorative 2013 Fest Jazztival poster, and 10 free drink tickets! The proceeds will be donated to the Tipitina’s Foundations’ Insruments a Comin. A good time for a good cause? Count us in! You can see the entire show schedule on the Tipitina’s website.
5. Giant Puppet Festival – New Orleans has quite a robust puppetry community that many may not know about. The goal of this festival is to increase awareness of the talent and creativity that resides within our neighborhoods. The show will be held at Marigny Opera House and Mudlark Theater and will feature shadow puppetry, rod puppetry, and marionette. You can catch the show April 25-28 and most performances begin between 6 and 7 p.m. You can find more details on the Marigny Opera House website.