Over the past 15 years, Voodoo Music + Arts Experience has seen a lot of change. Expansion from a single-day festival to a fully involved three-day event and a name revision happened early on; 2013 alone saw a shift of venue to City Park’s designated festival grounds and a Live Nation acquisition. With so much change last year, a bit of stagnation would’ve been perfectly understandable. However, Voodoo proves it’s always evolving with these new additions.
Under the Big White Top
From the moment veteran festival-goers arrive at City Park, they’ll notice a difference. A new entrance gate marks the passage into Voodoo Experience. In contrast to the beams-and-pillars build-out of years past, the 2014 entrance gate has the elements of a contemporary art installation. Participants enter through a main white tent and walk under a series of ethereal white shade sails that leads them to the festival grounds.
Super socializers, take note. Local tech startup MobileQubes is empowering the people through on-the-go battery juice. Like RedBox for cellphones, each specialized MobileQubes kiosk lets users rent and return discreet battery “Qubes” that plug directly into iPhones, Androids, and Blackberrys – no need to stand around at a charging station. At a cost of $4.99 (plus tax) per 24-hour rental period, MobileQubes is a sleek, easy answer to the battery-draining question: to live tweet or not to live tweet?
Stop and See the Roses
“Icon,” a 30-foot-tall rose sculpture cloaked in crimson, adds a pop of color to the venue (no offense to the silvery tones of Chris Ristow’s giant, mechanical installations like “Face Forward” and “Fledgling,” among the other art on display at the festival). Technically a part of Prospect.3, “Icon” is the work of New York artist Will Ryman, who transported the hulking statue to City Park earlier this month. The piece plays with surrealism and color-wheel theory – its rose motif in deep red contrasts and complements the lush greenery of City Park.
Getting to the festival grounds is becoming less and less of a hassle. The street car and cabs stand as viable transportation, as does driving or hopping on the Voodoo Express. The easiest method, however, might be Uber, which after a slow start is finally taking hold in New Orleans. A smartphone is all you’ll need for this option: download the app and select a pickup location and vehicle type. Uber lets users know when their car is ready and charges directly to their credit cards at the end of the ride.