New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is currently held during the day, between the hours of 11am and 7pm, at the Fair Grounds Race Course, a horse racing track located in historic Mid-City. It takes place on the last weekend of April (Friday-Sunday) and the first weekend of May (Thursday-Sunday) each year.
In 2017 more than 425,000 fans attended Jazz Fest.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, held annually since 1970, is a major tourist destination. The economic importance for New Orleans is rivaled only by Mardi Gras. The event brings to the city $300 million annually.
Early Jazz Fests featured almost exclusively local acts. As the event’s popularity grew, the festival expanded to include nationally-known acts. Even more musical events than usual take place around the city during Jazz Fest weekends and throughout the week in between.
Listen to & follow this massive New Orleans music playlist…
I always think it’s fun to review it ahead of time and imagine how I’d get in all my favorite performances. Since I still haven’t been (it’s the number one music event I need to check off my bucket list), it’s my way of experiencing it vicariously. If you would love to go, but find yourself too far away like me…then I hope this article gets you excited for the marvelous music of New Orleans and inspires you to take this incomparable music vacation as soon as possible.
The main stage lineup at the fairgrounds always has the best local acts mixed with the biggest names in music. Every year, you’re forced to make many difficult decisions between, amazing bands playing simultaneously.
To keep up with everything related to Jazz Fest, follow its official radio station, WWOZ on Facebook. Check their website http://www.wwoz.org/ for a ton of educational & inspirational programming dedicated to New Orleans music and culture. If you can’t make it to the Crescent City, this is the best way to experience Jazz Fest vicariously.
Take a look at these fabulous photos from Jazz Fest 2016, courtesy of WWOZ…
They also have a lot of cool photos from Jazz Fest 2016…
New Orleans Jazz Fest — Where The Party’s At
Follow this Facebook page, Live For Live NOLA, because it’s dedicated exclusively to concerts in New Orleans during Jazz Fest, and all year long.
The funkiest shows are in the myriad music clubs, theaters, and intimate bars of New Orleans after the festival at the Fair Grounds, and all during the week between. Bands that you hear from a lot here on Funkish perform all over the city. Check out Live For Live Music’s guide to Jazz Fest Late Night & Daze In Between.
They say “fear of missing out” is the only bad part about Jazz Fest — too many options for amazing music means you have to skip some concerts that would be one of the best nights out all year in most cities. Also take a look at this list of all the concerts at all the venues laid out in an easy to follow format at www.jazzfestgrids.com. If you can’t go, you can at least use their guide to follow the music vicariously.
Of course, home town bands like Galactic, and The Soul Rebels will be playing their asses off! The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins, and various incarnations of the Neville Brothers & Meters put on memorable shows every year.
Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, who won a Grammy in 2015 for Best Regional Roots Music Album for their record, Go Go Juice, are always out rockin’ it.
Watch them get funky here & learn
a little New Orleans music history too…
New Orleans Music City
These bands look forward to this more than anything all year. When they all get together, they feed off the energy of their peers, the raucous New Orleans music fans, and the party vibe which is like nowhere else on Earth. This is what makes New Orleans Jazz Fest so special…and the world’s best music festival.
Check out one of the highlights of 2015’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival — Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave…
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Watch more New Orleans music videos here…