Officially, the name is New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest, and it’s a 10 day musical celebration held each April and May at the New Orleans fairgrounds (race track) and other venues around town.
Now in its 45th year, the fest attracts musical acts and fans from around the world – samples of nearly all musical genres in addition to jazz, and presents dozens of acts daily spread across a number of outdoor stages. Sets run between 45-90 minutes with little time for band changes.
In addition to local favorites, the fest is chock-a-block full of international headliners, attendees this year can catch Keith Urban, John Legend, the Who, Jimmy Cliff, Robert Cray, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Jimmy Buffet, Beausoleil, Chicago, Elton John, Dr. John, Buddy Guy, and many, many more.
The music is great, a chance to see so much talent in a relatively small venue, back to back. But for some of us, it should be called “New Orleans Food Fest” as it’s a chance for local restaurants and chefs to show off the masterpieces, which are sold in booths around the fairgrounds.
Some of the more popular options are the local favorite sandwich muffaletta, crawfish bread, crawfish, poboys, pralines, fried catfish and shrimp, alligator sausage, meat pies, beignets, and more. All fabulous.
If you ever craved a music / food orgy, surrounded by 50,000 other revelers for fun in the sun, put Jazz Fest on your calendar for next year. Music line ups are announced in January.
New Orleans Jazz Fest