Is anyone else looking forward to drinking some strawberry lemonade and eating crawfish monica while watching their favorite artist perform? That’s right, Jazz Fest is almost here! And here’s your go-to guide for all things Jazz Fest!
WHAT IS JAZZ FEST?
The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is an annual festival that celebrates the music, culture, heritage, and art of New Orleans. And although it’s called “Jazz” Fest, it covers a lot more than just jazz music. You’ll find artists from almost any and every genre performing at Jazz Fest including R&B, gospel, bluegrass, Latin, funk, rock, pop, and hip-hop.
You can catch various local and international artists at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans during the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May.
THE 2023 LINEUP
This year’s music lineup includes Dead & Company, Ed Sheeran, Mumford & Sons, Lizzo, H.E.R, Ludacris, Santana, Jon Batiste, Jill Scott, and more. For more information, visit the official New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival site.
Jazz Fest offers weekend passes! The passes are non-transferable wristbands with no re-entry. They are available for purchase online only.
Weekend One (3-day pass): Starting at $225
Weekend Two (4-day pass): Starting at $275
I recommend purchasing tickets in advance so you don’t miss out on any early bird discounts.
If you’re a Louisiana resident, bring valid identification on Thursday, May 4th for a discounted ticket! You can purchase up to two tickets at the gate for $50.
VIP AND BRASS PASS
Three-tier levels of VIP weekend packages are available for purchase which includes admission to each day of the fest that weekend, access to special viewing areas at the main stages, private beverage stands, souvenir laminates, express entrance lanes, hospitality tents, and more.
Krewe of Jazz Fest: $850
Grand Marshal: $1600
Big Chief: $1700
Now let’s talk about the golden ticket, or should I say brass ticket. The Brass Pass is your ticket to all six days of Jazz Fest. It also includes same-day re-entry into the fest, access to the WWOZ Hospitality Tent, access to both wi-fi and charging stations, and more! Brass Pass cost $850.
PREPARING FOR JAZZ FEST
Now that I’ve provided you with all the general information you need to know, here’s my list of must-haves for Jazz Fest:
- Bring a factory-sealed water bottle. It’s hot in Louisiana in April & May, you need to stay hydrated if you’ll be festing all day. You’re allowed to bring a small, soft cooler inside. That can help keep the bottle cold!
- Bring a collapsible chair. I advise purchasing one beforehand because stores around the area tend to run out when Jazz Fest is near.
- Bring Cash. Most if not all vendors at Jazz Fest only take cash and the ATMs on the fest grounds charge a fee to withdraw money.
- Bring an Umbrella and Poncho. Louisiana weather is unpredictable. You’re allowed to bring small bags and backpacks so make sure to make a small umbrella and cheap poncho, just in case! Better safe than sorry.
- Invest in Rain Boots. I think it’s rained at least once every year I’ve attended Jazz Fest and my rain boots have been a lifesaver.
- Wear a Hat. If you have a bucket hat, flat bill, baseball cap, boater hat, cowboy hat, or any type or hat that will help to block the sun and protect your face, wear it.
- Blanket or tarp! As long as it’s 6’ x 8’ or less and you leave enough space around each blanket/tarp for safe foot passage, you’re good! With Louisiana’s unpredictable weather, it’s great to bring a tarp to lay on in case the ground is damp from the rain.
- Wear Sunscreen. I made the mistake of not putting sunscreen on the last two days of the fest and 1) got so burnt, it was embarrassing 2) got overheated from the sunburn during the fest and had to leave early and missed Smokey Robinson’s set. Don’t be like me, wear sunscreen.
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