With its French Quarter, Mardi Gras celebrations, and distinctive music, New Orleans is known for its delightful melting pot of cultures. The city's annual Jazz and Heritage Festival only adds to this reputation, bringing together world-renowned musicians for two weeks of nonstop entertainment.
Whether you're a music lover or simply looking to experience some of New Orleans's unique cultures, the Jazz Fest is an event you won't want to miss. Keep reading everything you need to know about attending the festival, from booking your tickets to packing your bags.
What is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival?
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, commonly known as Jazz Fest, is a world-renowned music and cultural Festival held annually in New Orleans, Louisiana, since 1970. The festival attracts thousands of visitors to New Orleans each year, and the event's organizers donate a portion of the proceeds to local community organizations.
Jazz Fest is known for its diverse lineup of musicians, ranging from local legends to international stars, playing a variety of genres, including jazz, blues, rock, funk, hip hop, and more. The festival also features a wide array of food booths serving traditional New Orleans dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and arts and crafts vendors.
Where is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival?
The New Orleans Jazz And Heritage Festival occur at the Fair Grounds Race Course, located just outside downtown New Orleans. The Fair Grounds is accessible by car, bike, or public transportation.
By Car: Several parking options are available if you drive to the Festival. Parking is available on-site at the Fair Grounds Race Course for a fee, or you can park in one of the many nearby neighborhoods and take advantage of the free shuttle buses from various locations throughout the city.
By Public Transportation: RTA Bus Line runs a special shuttle service to and from the Festival grounds during Jazz Fest. The shuttles pick up passengers at various locations throughout downtown New Orleans and drop them off at the gate of the Fair Grounds Race Course. You can also take the streetcar to the Jazz Fest, with streetcars running directly to the Fair Grounds from both the Canal Street and Riverfront lines.
By Bicycle: Biking is a great way to get around New Orleans, and several bike racks are located near the Fair Grounds Race Course entrance. If you don't have your bike, you can take advantage of the city's new bike share program, Blue Bikes New Orleans. Blue Bikes has stations throughout the city, including several near the Festival grounds.
How Long Is New Orleans Jazz And Heritage Festival?
The New Orleans Jazz And Heritage Festival last for two weekends, with the first weekend typically taking place in early April and the second weekend in late April or early May. Several hotels are near the Fair Grounds Race Course, or you can stay in one of the many hotels, Airbnbs, or campgrounds throughout New Orleans. If you're planning on staying in the city during Jazz Fest, it's important to book your accommodations well in advance, as rooms fill up quickly.
When is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival?
The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is held annually in late April or early May. This year, the Festival is held from April 23-May 2. The Festival attracts thousands of visitors to New Orleans each year and features a diverse lineup of musicians playing a variety of genres. It also features many food booths serving traditional New Orleans dishes and arts and crafts vendors.
How Much Are New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Typically?
Tickets for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival typically range in price from $120-$160, depending on the day and whether you purchase them in advance or at the gate. VIP tickets are also available for purchase, which include access to exclusive areas with elevated views of the stages, private bathrooms, and air-conditioned tents.
What To Expect?
Here are the top things you need to know before attending the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
- The Festival takes place over two weekends in April and features a wide range of music, from jazz and blues to rock, EDM, and country.
- In addition to music, the Festival also offers food, art, and crafts from local vendors.
- Tickets are required for each day of the Festival and can be purchased in advance or at the gate.
- The Festival is rain or shine, so dress appropriately for the weather.
- Alcohol is allowed inside the festival grounds, but open containers are not permitted outside the gates.
How Many People Attend the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival?
The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival attracts around 400,000 people yearly dedicated to preserving the culture and heritage of New Orleans through music education, performance, and community outreach programs.
What To Bring To The Festival?
Some essentials to bring with you include:
- Your Festival Ticket: You will need this to enter the Festival. If you lose your ticket, we will be unable to replace it.
- Cash: There are ATMs on site, but they may have long lines. We recommend that you bring cash to avoid having to wait in line.
- A Backpack Or Bag: You can bring one backpack or bag per person to the Festival. All bags are subject to search upon entry.
- Sunscreen and hats: The sun can be intense at the Fest, so protect yourself!
- Water: You should bring an empty water bottle per person to the Festival. There are also water fountains on-site.
- Earplugs: The music can be loud at the Fest, so earplugs are always a good idea.
- An umbrella: The weather in New Orleans can be unpredictable, so an umbrella is always a good idea.
- A camera: You will want to remember your time at the Fest, so bring a camera and capture the memories.
- A phone charger: There are charging stations on-site, but they can be crowded. We recommend you bring a phone charger to avoid waiting in line.
Tips To Get Most Out Of The Festival
Below are some tips to get the most out of your experience at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival:
Plan Your Trip And Buy Your Tickets Early- The Jazz Fest is one of the most popular festivals in New Orleans, and tickets tend to sell out quickly. By planning your trip and buying your tickets early, you'll be able to ensure that you don't miss out on this amazing event.
Arrive Early And Stay Late- If you want to experience the Jazz Fest to its fullest, arrive early and stay late. This way, you'll be able to catch all the great music and performances happening throughout the day.
Dress For Comfort- Since the Jazz Fest takes place outdoors, it's important to dress for comfort. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing that will help you stay cool in the Louisiana heat.
Don't Forget To Eat- With all the great music and performances at the Jazz Fest, it's easy to forget to eat. Be sure to grab some food from one of the many vendors on-site to keep your energy up throughout the day.
Explore New Orleans- The Jazz Fest is a great opportunity to explore New Orleans and all it offers. In between sets, take some time to walk around the French Quarter or visit one of the many museums and galleries in the city.
Be Prepared For Crowds- The festival attracts crowds from all over the world. Be prepared for large crowds and plan accordingly.
Do Not Bring Outside Food Or Drinks To The Festival Grounds- There are plenty of food and drink vendors inside the festival grounds, so there's no need to bring your own. Plus, you'll be supporting local businesses by patronizing these vendors.
Have Cash On Hand For Food, Drink, And Merchandise Vendors- Many of the vendors at the Jazz Fest only accept cash, so be sure to stop by an ATM before heading into the festival grounds.
Can You Bring Drinks To Jazz Fest?
Outside food and drink are not allowed at the festival. There are plenty of food and drink vendors inside the Festival so you won't go thirsty or hungry. Plus, the proceeds from food and drink sales help support the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation's educational and outreach programs.
Where is Atlanta Jazz Festival?
The Atlanta Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of jazz music that takes place in Piedmont Park. The Festival is free and open to the public and features a wide range of local, national, and international jazz musicians.
With its unique blend of music, food, and culture, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is truly a one-of-a-kind event. If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, add this festival to your must-attend list. Whether you’re a jazz aficionado or simply looking to enjoy some good music and good vibes, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is sure to deliver.