New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2014
The 45th New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (other wise known as NO Jazz Fest) will be held between the 25th April & 4th May 2014 and promises to be another fantastic year following last years festival with a confirmed line-up including Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Dave Matthew Band, The Black Keys and B.B King to name but a few!
According to the official Jazz Fest website and their official Wikipedia page, “The Festival celebrates the indigenous music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana, so the music encompasses every style associated with the city and the state: blues, R&B, gospel music, Cajun music, zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, folk music, Latin, rock, rap music, country music, bluegrass and everything in between. And of course there is lots of jazz, both contemporary and traditional.”
The NO Jazz Festival has been held annually since 1970. Founded by the New Orleans Hotel Motel Association in order to form the “New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc” which uses much of the proceeds from the festival to help support community development programs in education, economic development and culture.
The first NO Jazz Festival was held in Congo Square, cost $3 for admission and had only a ‘Gospel Tent’ and 4 open stages for acts to perform on, most of which had no microphones. The first years acts included artists Mahalia Jackson, The Preservation Hall Band, Duke Ellington, Al Hirt, Fats Domino among others. Most of the performers the first year ended up staying in Davis’ & Miner’s homes as there was little money for hotel or motel accommodation.Show More History...
The first years audience was only around 350 people but over the years the numbers have grown almost exponentially. By the end of the 1980′s there were some 300,000 festival goers (helped by a silk-screen poster series promoting the event in the 1970′s) and by 2001 the festival attendance hit 650,000+.
The festival was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 which left some 80% of the city flooded (including the Jazz Fest venue). The 2006 Festival was jubilant and successful reunion for over 300,000 Jazz Fest lovers from all over the world. Next year, in 2007, some 350,000+ people came to the festival (a 50,000+ increase from 2006) including such performers as Ludacris, Norah Jones and Rod Stewart.
By 2013 the festival attendance stood at 425,000 (down from 450,000 in 2012), unfortunately the ticket prices are still increasing and have soared from $20 in 2004, $35 in 1007 and now stand at $50 in advance for the 2014 festival ($65 on the gate).
$50 is a phenomenal deal for the caliber of artists at Jazz Fest each day, especially compared to current concert and festival ticket prices – but if you consider this a “soaring” price that’s up to you.
More Photos in the ‘Gallery‘ Tab below.
The line-up for the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
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- Eric Clapton
- Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band
- Christina Aguilera
- Arcade Fire
- Robin Thicke
- The String Cheese Incident
- Trey Songz Vampire Weekend Foster The People
- Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue Aaron Neville
- Public Enemy
- The Avett Brothers
- Charlie Wilson Alabama Shakes
- John Fogerty
- Chaka Khan Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters
- Allen Toussaint Rubén Blades & Roberto Delgado Orchestra
- Irma Thomas
- Rebirth Brass Band Lyle Lovett
- The Head And The Heart
- Boz Scaggs The Radiators
- Al Jarreau Johnny Winter
- Bobby Womack
- Big Freedia
- Delbert Mcclinton
- Keb’ Mo’ North Mississippi Allstars
- Maze Feat. Frankie Beverly Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk With Special Guest Art Neville Chick Corea & The Vigil
- Mary Mary
- Anders Osborne
- Jason Isbell Preservation Hall Jazz Band
- John Hiatt
- Branford Marsalis Quartet The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
- Rachelle Ferrell Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingers
- Laura Mvula Irvin Mayfield & The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
- Pharoah Sanders Walter “wolfman” Washington & The Roadmasters
- The Rance Allen Group The Mavericks
- Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
- Tab Benoit Robert Earl Keen
- Better Than Ezra
- Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys Jon Batiste And Stay Human
- Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio
- Johnnyswim Bobby Jones & Nashville Super Choir Joe Louis Walker
- Bernard Allison Group Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings The Terence Blanchard Group Gregory Porter
- René Marie – With Love To Eartha Kitt
- Pj Morton Davell Crawford Greensky Bluegrass
- Sonny Landreth The Infamous Stringdusters
- John Boutté
- Sleepy Man Banjo Boys Alexis & The Samurai Dr. Michael White & The Original Liberty Jazz Band With Thais Clark Spencer Taylor & The Highway Qc’s
The line-up for the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival were as follows (only a selection of the best performers!):
Dave Matthews Band
The Black Keys
Daryl Hall and John Oates
Willie Nelson & Family
Little Big Town
Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite
Band of Horses
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
Juan Luis Guerra y 440
The Little Willies
Laura Bell Bundy
The full line-up (when released) and updates to the lineup can be found at the Official Festival Line-up Page.
The cheapest accommodation options I could find in and around New Orleans, Louisiana during festival period (End of April 2014 to beginning of May 2014) are shown below:
*** Prices will rise the closer you get to the festival date so book early and avoid disappointment… ***
For a full list of good hotels to stay in during the festival period I would highly recommend visiting Hotels.com – New Orleans Page for more hotels.
If you are on a super shoe-string budget you can always check out HostelWorld and get a bed in a hostel for as little as $3! - (Private rooms often $20+)
Note that there is NO TENT CAMPING at the NO Jazz Festival this year. However, you are allowed to ‘camp’ in your RV or Motorhome at the nearby New Orleans West KOA it seems to be a popular campsite according to the numerous 5-star reviews at TripAdvisor.
The 2014 NO Jazz Fest will take place at the 145-acre New Orleans Fair Grounds and Racetrack which has been the host of the festival since 1972 (prior to that the festival was held in Louis Armstrong Park/Beauregard Square). At only 10 minutes from the French Quarter it’s very accessible.
A map of this year’s festival can be found to the right.
Each year a number of stages are set up to accommodate performers. In 2012 there were 12 stages of various sizes and a couple of food ‘stages’ to serve the hungry masses. Here is a list of the stages listed in a rough order of their capacity:
|1||Acura Stage||Primary main stage|
|2||Gentilly Stage||Secondary main stage|
|3||Congo Square Stage||Afro-centric and world music|
|4||Jazz Tent||Contemporary jazz|
|6||Gospel Tent||Gospel groups and singers|
|7||Fais Do-Do Stage||Mainly cajun and zydeco|
|8||Economy Hall Tent||Traditional New Orleans jazz|
|9||Jazz & Heritage Stage||New Orleans brass bands, Mardi Gras Indians|
|10||Lagniappe Stage||A potpourri of sound and style|
|11||Allison Miner Music Heritage||Information, interviews & panel discussions|
|12||Kids Tent||Children’s music and performances|
|13||Food Demonstration Stage||Local chefs demonstrate|
|14||Cajun Cabin||Demonstrations of Cajun cooking|
Don’t worry about food and/or drink at this year’s festival. With a number of dedicated food stands proving some of the best cuisine in the area you’re taste-buds are in for a treat! I have heard that the official festival policy on food is: “NO Festival Food.” – goodbye burgers!
Popular dishes at the festival include the Crawfish Monica, Crawfish Bread and Crawfish Sacks (a whole lot of Crawfish). But don’t worry there are hundreds of other dishes you’ll be able to chose from when your there. I’ll let Eric Sarrett from MYOMG guide you through the top 10 Jazz fest foods. Enjoy.
(further reading: there is also this article that has a small but informative paragraph at the end of the article. Bon appetite.)
The standard ticket price for this years festival is $50 per weekend. The festival is held over two weekends so if you want to go to both then it’ll be $100. If you have the money and want to have a more lavish festival experience you can opt for either the “Big Chief VIP Experience” – $1125/$1275 per weekend, the “Grand Marshal VIP Pass” – $750/$850 per weekend or the “Krewe Of Jazz Fest VIP Pass” – SOLD OUT. Tickets normally sell out quite quickly as they are sold on a first come first serve basis.
Big Chief VIP Experience
The Big Chief VIP Experience is the most luxurious way to enjoy the 2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. A limited number of tickets are sold (first come, first served). The Big Chief VIP Experience often sells out – patrons are encouraged to purchase early to avoid being shut out. Premium ticket package includes Festival admission with re-entry privileges; access to special viewing areas at major Festival stages and in some tents; access to a VIP Hospitality lounge; special access to restrooms and beverage concessions; parking, if desired; and more.
Grand Marshal VIP Pass
The Grand Marshal VIP Pass is designed for the Festivalgoer who wants the luxury of moving from stage to stage, combined with the thrill of seeing Jazz Fest’s world-class performers up close.
A very limited number of Jazz Fest fans can upgrade their Festival experience to a pass that allows exclusive access to an upfront, golden circle viewing environment at the Festival’s three main stages: The Acura Stage, The Gentilly Stage, and The Congo Square Stage.
The Grand Marshal VIP Pass is sold by specific weekend and includes re-entry privileges (pedestrian only). A very limited number of Grand Marshal packages that include reserved parking are available for purchase.
Krewe of Jazz Fest VIP Pass
Jazz Fest attendees have the opportunity to view all the action at the Acura Stage in an exclusive environment. The Krewe of Jazz Fest area features covered high-end folding seats along with private upscale restroom facilities and a dedicated beverage concession area.
As the number of Krewe of Jazz Fest VIP Passes sold is limited, interested patrons are encouraged to purchase their Passes early to avoid being shut out.
The Krewe of Jazz Fest Pass is sold by specific weekend and includes re-entry privileges (pedestrian only). A very limited number of Krewe of Jazz Fest packages that include reserved parking are available for purchase.
The nearest international airport to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and is located roughly 14 miles (22.5 KM) from the venue, it normally takes between 15-25 minutes to travel from the airport to the festival dependent on traffic and the route taken. You’ll be able to get a taxi and it will likely cost you around $20.
To get the best flight deals I would use SkyScanner as they take 0% commission and are rarely beaten on price. Feel free to do a quick check on prices using their official flight checker below (note: Results will open in a new browser window so you won’t leave this page 8-)):
Parking at the Fairgrounds is limited and if you manage to secure a spot it will cost you $20/day. Most people use public transport or the dedicated Jazz Fest Express private bus service provided by Grayline. Copied from About.com:
Jazz Fest Express private bus service at the Sheraton on Canal Street or the steamboat Natchez dock at Touluse and the River, and Marconi Meadow in City Park from 10:30 am to 8:00 pm. They run frequently and are a good deal at $17.00 for a round trip ticket ($14.00 from City Park). You have to buy a package deal including transportation and tickets to Jazzfest from Grayline, which operats the Jazz Fest Express. But, if you already have your tickets to Jazzfest and only want to get the bus ticket you can purchase them separately by calling 504-569-1401 or 800-233-2628.
Detailed information on travel to and from the Jazz Festival can be found on this dated, but still accurate website: Swag’s Jazzfest FAQ – Transportation Summary. You should also check out the Steamboat Natchez Page (NO’s Only Steamboat Service), which also has some good info.
Additional transport information on this festival can be found at the ‘Map & Transport Hubs‘ section along with the Festival News, Festival photos of previous years, user comments etc. Make sure you check them out below.
We currently have not been able to interview anybody at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, if you work for the festival and would like to answer a few questions for this section of your listing, please contact me so that we can get something arranged, thank you.
New Orleans Jazz Fest 2013 highlights
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If you’re coming from far and wide to attend next years festival then make sure you give yourself ample time to explore outside of the festival grounds as New Orleans is a gem of a city with many things to see and do. Obviously the city is renowned for it’s music culture as we all know, but did you know that it’s home to Antoine’s, the oldest continuously operated restaurant in Louisiana (est. 1840), or that the name “Uncle Sam” was coined on the wharfs of New Orleans before Louisiana was a U.S. territory — goods labeled “U.S.” were said to be from “Uncle Sam.” and that the card game Poker was invented here back in the early 1700′s. Read some more interesting facts about New Orleans here and here if you’re interested.
If you require any further information on this festival or would like to leave a message for others then please use the comments section below.
NB. You also find photo galleries, live festival news, transport information in the tabbed section below. All festival listings are changing continuously, check back regularly.
- Official Website of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
- Top 20 UNUSUAL (but somehow essential :-s ) Festival Items
- Wikipedia link on NO Jazz Fest
- New Orleans LA Local Paper on the Jazz Fest
- 2013 Weekend one festival review
- Reviews of 2012/2013 NO Jazz Fest @ Yelp.com
- Virtual Tourist Member Reviews on NO Jazz Fest (Various Years)
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