I visited the city of New Orleans a little over a week ago to check out a day of Jazz Fest, and to experience NOLA the best I could in two days. I am more than impressed to say the least. Finding Jazz Fest was a breeze. Parking however, was a little more difficult. While parking directly at the venue was $50, homeowners just a few blocks away had graciously opened their front yards and street parking for Jazz Fest-goers for $10-$20, which I happened to snag the last spot in one of. I attended the day of April 29th, the perfect day it seemed. April 28th known as Local Day was incredibly rainy and April 30th actually had so much rain the festival had to be shut down which resulted in many artists not being able to perform. However, the headliners including Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, and Beck were all able to play at other indoor locations at which ticket holders were able to attend.
The festival included everything one would expect, from jazz bands walking through the streets, incredible food and drinks, as well as artwork. My friend and I were more than pleased with everything we were able to experience. Although I was not able to obtain a press pass cameras were allowed into the festival for everyone, so this was one of the few events I’ve ever attended where I was essentially a normal ticket holder with a camera and no special access. However, this allowed for lots of great things such as really getting to try to food (I had alligator sausage), getting to sit on the grass and watch Ms. Lauryn Hill perform, and even go through the art booths and purchase lots of incredible local artwork. New Orleans is hands down the most cultured place I have experienced yet and I hope to return many more times.
Jazz Fest not only offers new and more evolved jazz music and southern culture, but it remembers the past also. The festival included tribute bands to Allen Toussaint and B.B. King as well as many of these paintings of other fallen musicians. I for one did not know much about jazz music nor what types of it I would like, but by attending a festival such as this I was able to experience many different aspects of the jazz world as well as the culture of New Orleans. I spent two days in the city and honestly considered looking for places to rent. I was able to enjoy both Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, try alligator and crawdads, and of course the ability to legally drink while walking the streets. This city has so much to offer and I strongly recommend that not only everyone visit it at least once, but that you also go to a day of Jazz Fest because it is incredibly insightful to both New Orleans, the culture of those who live there and have lived there in the past, and jazz music throughout the years.
You can view the full gallery go Jazz Fest here