[Review] The Return of Lil Weezyana Fest

Rain or shine, nothing was stopping the highly anticipated return of Lil Weezyana Fest and its star-studded lineup of artists.

Saturday, October 29th was the 6th Annual Lil Weezyana Fest in New Orleans. After a two-year hiatus due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the festival returned to its roots at Champions Square!

Worth the Wait

The festival was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 27 with performances by Lil Wayne, Moneybagg Yo, Coi Leray, BabyFace Ray, Rob 49, and more. On August 25, Wayne took to social media to apologize to everyone planning to attend that the festival was being postponed to October due to unforeseen circumstances. 

Between August and October, it was relatively quiet until three days before the festival when Wayne and Champions Square shared the updated festival announcement. The lineup now was missing Coi Leray and Moneybagg Yo but now included Quavo & Takeoff, Cam’ron, Rick Ross, Mellow Rackz, and Neno Calvin!

What You Missed

The festival kicked off at 4 PM! I arrived around 5 so I missed the “Young Money Takeover” part of the show where the latest signees to the Young Money label took to the stage. The first act I caught was BabyFace Ray! The last time I saw BabyFace Ray was a year ago as he opened for Jack Harlow at the House of Blues last Halloween weekend! After his set, New Orleans’ own Neno Calvin performed for about thirty minutes. He previously performed at the 2018 Lil Weezyana Fest. 

The first special guest: Dallas rapper, Yella Beezy! He surprised the crowd with a quick ten-minute performance. Fans waited in anticipation for an hour before Takeoff and Quavo hit the stage. After restarting their set due to issues with the sound system, they performed a few tracks from their latest album, “Only Built For Infinity Links” along with a number of songs for the OG Migos fans in the crowd, including “T-Shirt,” “Hannah Montana” and “Straightenin.” New Orleans’ own, Rob49 performed next. The rising rapper was accompanied on stage by his DJ and Baby-A. They welcomed the crowd to the ‘Vulture Culture’ before performing a thirty-minute set. 

Fans filled the general admission pit and the steps in front of Ceasar’s Superdome in anticipation. The man of the hour, Lil Wayne, took the stage with his DJ and drummer for about a two-hour set. One thing about Wayne, he never performs the same setlist. He performed everything from “Blunt Blowin” to “Tha Mobb” to “Hustler Musik.” He also included some more known tracks including “Mrs. Officer,” “A Milli,” and “Uproar.” Wayne took a moment to express his gratitude to the fans and thanked the crowd for still showing up despite the nasty weather earlier in the day.

As promised, a number of special guests showed up including Rick Ross, Cam’ron, Supahbadd, Lil Elt, Subtweet Shawn, and more! The biggest surprise of the night? Drake! He popped on stage around 11 PM and played an 18-minute set where he and Wayne performed “She Will” and “The Motto.” The Canadian rapper also performed “In My Feelings,” “Nonstop,” “Jimmy Cooks,”  “God’s Plan,” and “Knife Talk.” He made sure to give thanks to Wayne for believing in him and acknowledged how the city of New Orleans played a major role in the kickstart of his career – including a performance at LSU back in the day!

Back To Its Roots

This year proved if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. The 6th Annual Lil Weezyana Fest went on without a hitch at Champions Square! The date change was a major factor: the August heat at a general admission music festival is not for the weak. Hopefully in the future, the festival continues to take place in the Fall.

In 2019, Lil Weezyana Fest may have felt more like a festival at UNO Lakefront Arena with carnival rides and games but the way it ended ruined the experience for many. This year, there was no stampede, no looting, they didn’t run out of water and there were way fewer fans rushed to first aid by paramedics.

If you missed Lil Weezyana Fest 2012 or just want to re-live it, check out my Instagram Highlight of the festival and view the photo gallery below.

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