New Orleans Jazz Fest Tips?

Hi! My husband and I will spend three glorious weeks in New Orleans this spring. Our reason for going is to finally go to Jazz Fest. We’re big jazz fans, and going to the Fest has been on our list of things to do forever. We’re so excited to finally be going!

This will be our first time back in the city in decades, and I’m sure a lot has changed since the last time we were there. Have you been there recently? Do you live there? Have you ever been to Jazz Fest? I’d love to hear your tips and recommendations for things to do, places to go, things / places to eat, and, of course, how to make the most of the festival.

TIA for your help :blush:


@Karen_E How exciting!! :smiley:

…. Make sure you share lots of pics! :camera::slightly_smiling_face:


Hi @Karen_E
I can’t offer you any tips as haven’t been but am very excited for you both. As @Samox24 says, share lots of photos and you can then offer future visitors tips! I’m sure you’ll find a lot of info researching online but no doubt some forum members will have been.


Karen: I hope you have a great time. I am a New Orleans native and have been going to Jazz Fest for decades. We will miss this one. Lots of things have changed in recent years. While it is still a wonderful event, it has gotten very crowded, so most people stake out a space by the stage where the act that they most want to see is performing and stay there most of the day. I prefer to wander about and focus on lesser known acts and smaller stages, but in doing this, I know that if I want to see any headliners, I will be way in the back. Jon Batiste is playing on 5/5 and he is amazing. Here is a link with some great tips. Jazz Fest: Tips and tricks we learned from week one. We always bring a small soft cooler with some frozen water bottles, a small plastic tarp to sit on, sun screen, hats, etc. Feel free to PM me with specific questions. Without knowing what part of the city you are staying in or your eating preferences, it is hard to make restaurant suggestions. Have a great time.


Thanks @Southernsitter for your insights and the link. I’ve just sent you a DM. I appreciate your help.

We start our next sit in New Orleans tomorrow. Will post recommendations for restaurants, sightseeing etc. very envious about the Jazz Festival

Oh, thanks @ElsieDownie. That would be a great help. How long will you be in NOLA? I hope you have a grand time.

@Karen_E this doesn’t relate to the Jazz Fest, but a really great breakfast in town can be found at Daisy Dukes…best pancakes I have ever had and wow…wow…wow…awesome Bloody Mary’s

@ElsieDownie I hope you have a great time on your sit. There is lots going on this week in NOLA, even though you will miss Jazz Fest. Here is a link to the gambit that has the run down of happenings, including the Tennessee Williams Literary Fest. Events If you are still in town on 4/13-16, make sure you check out the French Quarter Fest. It is a free music fest in the French Quarter. Have fun!


I’m gluten intolerant but we will go and I’ll watch hubby munch his way through a stack.


Yummm! @Debbie-L that sounds delicious! It’s on my list. Thanks!

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Have been to Jazz Fest twice and loved every minute. The food is wonderful and anywhere you try is better than the last thing you just ate! If you’ll be there for both weekends, it is advisable to make a schedule to see as much as you want without feeling rushed. I usually pick out the artists I don’t want to miss, see what else if playing in a venue close to them so we are on time for those favorites. Southernsitters recommendations are great, would take them up on all their tips. We haven’t been since '09, but we love NOLA. The Historical Society also has some great walking tours of the quarter and other parts of the city. Have fun, more good food and music than you imagine.


Hi @Pclarkfla. Welcome back to the forum. Thanks for your words of encouragement – I’m so excited! Thanks especially for your tip about the Historical Society tours. I’ve added that to my list of things to do while I’m there.

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Hi @Karen_E. What days will you be in New Orleans? How is trip-planning going?

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We’re going this year as well!! Print off “The Cubes” and mark off the artists you absolutely do not want to miss. Also def preview the food offerings for the same purpose. Sunscreen, hats, small cooler/backpack for sealed waters (can refill inside Fairgrounds), something for sitting on, small umbrella, this is the first year that they are accepting cc’s but still bring $$ cuz you never know… And lastly - enjoy!!

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Thanks @2tswhite. I’m glad to hear you’ll be there too! Are you going the first weekend, the second weekend, or both? Dear hubby will be joining me the first weekend, then I’ll be there on my own the second. I’m so excited! Yes, I saw they finally updated the app just the other day and have marked the artists I’m hoping to see.

Have a great Jazz Fest!

Hi @geoff.hom. Thanks for asking. One week from tomorrow I arrive in New Orleans – I can’t wait! This will be the first time I’ve been back to NOLA since the 90’s (yeah, I’m old :rofl:), and I’m excited to discover how everything’s changed. And, of course, I’m super stoked to see so many amazing artists perform.

Thanks everyone for the tips and advice you shared. It certainly made my planning easier!

On my way to NOLA I’m going to stop in Clarksdale, Miss. for the Juke Joint Festival. Clarksdale is just south of Memphis and is the home of the blues. Home to BB King, Sam Cooke, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Ike Turner and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram to name a few. The crossroads where Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the devil is just outside of town.

Prior to 1920, Mississippi Delta cotton plantations were in constant need of laborers, and many poor families moved to the area to work as sharecroppers. After World War I, plantation owners even encouraged people to move from the other parts of Mississippi to the Delta region for work. Clarksdale became a hub for itinerant musicians who moved from juke joint to juke joint to earn a few bucks and refine their skills before making the big move up to Memphis. This was in the days just prior to Elvis.

This is the 20th year for the Juke Joint Festival, and it’s going to play host to over 100 blues performances, Southern food and much more.

So Blues next weekend and 3 weeks of Jazz after that in New Orleans. This is a dream come true for me!


@Karen_E my musical taste buds are salivating … What an amazing immersion, any room on the blues &n jazz bus?? :wink: :musical_keyboard: :saxophone: :musical_score: :studio_microphone: :star_struck:

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I’ll just have to live vicariously through you @Karen_E and play some “toons” like …
Q’s Jook (Juke) Joint …


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@Angela_L I’d love to have you join me! :saxophone: :trumpet: :notes: