French Quarter Fest is easily my favorite festival of the year, which is saying something since we have hundreds of them. With over 20 stages playing indigenous music and 60 local food booths, the festival employs over 1,700 local musicians playing genres from funk, R&B and jazz to rock, gospel and Zydeco. The over 1,500 volunteers and various local companies handling sanitation, security, stages, sound, etc. and more insure that all of the money spent producing the festival remains within the local economy.
I was working on a TV show Thursday so I missed the first day of festivities – which really hurt when I saw the tailor-made-for-me music line up. We started Friday with the Soul Rebels. The fun and funky brass band Continue reading
Another beautiful day for French Quarter Fest, low 70’s and sunny. The music started at the U.S. Mint stages with The Nayo Jones Experience. We’d seen Nayo Jones featured by Kermit Ruffins in 2 previous French Quarter Fests so it was a delight to see her command her own stage. The crowd loved her rendition of House of the Rising Sun and she sold out of CD’s early in the show. Continue reading
As usual, it was hot-as-heck for Satchmo Fest but the music and food were worth the sweat. Celebrating the life and contributions of Louis Armstrong, the festival moved to Jackson Square this year. Like last year, they charged a $5 admission – a move that still has its kinks (like local employees and neighbors can’t just walk in to grab a plate or a cocktail). The festival featured 2 stages with one focusing more on traditional jazz and the main stage offering a few more-modern takes on Satchmo’s sound. Continue reading
Friday marked the start of the 15th annual Satchmo Fest celebrating jazz and the life of New Orleans native, Louis Armstrong, with 2 stages of live music, seminars and local food. There were some changes made this year. The most obvious is that the festival is no longer free to the public. I’m sure there are people for whom the $5/day charge might prove too much. I’m thinking especially of large families. That said, you certainly get your money’s worth and if the money went for the new giant tents making it possible to be in the shade all day, it was money well spent. Continue reading
French Quarter Fest is known as the “largest free festival in the land” and as “The World’s Largest Jazz Brunch.” It’s also been my favorite festival since I first attended in 2010 – and that’s saying a lot in a city with hundreds of festivals a year. With over 20 stages all over the French Quarter, the fest offers 4 days of local music and food. We managed to see 6 bands and eat from at least 6 restaurants in one afternoon. Continue reading
The final day of this year’s French Quarter Fest began with a huge rain storm that blew in after midnight. For the lucky people who found themselves still out at music venues after the power went out that night, bars were lit with candles and bands went unplugged. The rain soaked the ground and messed up food booth and stage equipment so the day started around noon. The rain also scared off a lot of people who drive in from Baton Rouge or Mississippi, etc. so the crowds were much thinner. Despite the day’s wet beginning, it was gloriously beautiful – 70’s and sunny with breezes. And after 2 solid days of festing, we were happy for a shorter more low-key afternoon. Continue reading
Time again for my favorite festival of the year – the 29th annual French Quarter Fest. The largest free festival in the South, the festival now runs 4 days starting with Locals Lagniappe Day – a day dedicated to the locals before the crowds arrive on Friday. French Quarter Fest features over 70 local, non-chain restaurants and more than 800 local musicians and international musicians playing local music on 18 stages throughout the Quarter. Continue reading