Tag Archives: New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival experience

Monday Crack – New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

Always the last weekend in April through the first weekend in May the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival celebrating the music and cultures of New Orleans and Louisiana is a music and food lovers dream come true.  With multiple stages featuring all kinds of music, fabulous ethnic food, arts and crafts; it is easy to say if you have the chance to go you will be happy and content finding most anything you could possibly want hour to hour and day to day during your festival stay.

If you’re wondering why I’m writing about this in September?  That’s because it is never too early to plan ahead for this event.  By December or January most f the good rooms in New Orleans and flights getting there will already be booked, as the festival has become quite popular.

I don’t know if it is still true or not, but years ago I was told that one couldn’t just have a food concession stand at the festival because they could afford it.  You had to earn the right to have one.  That meant you were in competition with others who made Crawfish bisque, jambalaya, gumbo and po-boys.  You had to make the best sweet potato pies or beignets.  You had to prove that you deserved to be there.  My first time attending I remember never having been to any festival or fair where the food was better then most 4 star restaurants.  And of course the music is out of this world!  With 10 or 11 stages and venues going at once, it is hard to choose where to go and who to see next, so you usually choose beforehand your absolute must sees and go from there.

Most people who go to Jazz Fest come for one weekend or the other, either the first Friday through Sunday or the second Thursday through Sunday.  The lucky ones stay the entire ten days maybe resting a bit midweek, although there is plenty of music happening in all the clubs throughout the entire 10 day festival period.  And if you’re wondering if the groups only play jazz, the answer is a definite no.  You will be pulling your hair out trying to choose between blues, R&B, Afro-Caribbean, country, Latin, zydeco, Cajun, gospel, jazz and rock.  You will be choosing between major headlining-talent, to smaller well-known signature players and bands of various styles and degrees of notoriety.  Let me tell you it’s a tuff decision as sometimes your favorite people are playing at the same time.

Tickets have definitely gone up in price.  They now cost $40 tp $50 a day, but you get a lot of music and a lot of culture for that 40 or 50 dollars, and there is so much to do in New Orleans, you don’t necessarily have to attend each day.  You can choose your top two days if money is an issue.   But if you can work this into your schedule and your budget, don’t miss it.  Besides my first trip to Europe I think the thrill of Jazz Fest is the only vacation that came close to equaling the enjoyment of that experience.

Next years festival will take place April 24-26 and April 30-May 3rd.  For more information either click on the link below or cut and paste it into your browser.


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