Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the new Delta variant, the 2021 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has been canceled. Here is a message from their team. I look forward to hopefully drinking some strawberry lemonade and eating crawfish sacks at the Acura Stage next year.
After a year of Jazz Festing in place, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is BACK! From Friday, October 8th to Sunday, October 17th, you can catch various local and international artists at the Fair Grounds Race Course. Today the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival announced their lineup and they did not disappoint (as per usual).
Jazz Fest 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.
This year’s music lineup includes Dead & Company, Stevie Nicks, Demi Lovato, Lizzo, H.E.R, Ludacris, Foo Fighters, Jon Batiste, Irma Thomas and more. For more information, visit the official New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival site.
A FESTIVAL FILLED FALL
Following the cancellation of the 2020 edition of the festival, the normally springtime festival was postponed to the Fall due to the pandemic. Along with Jazz Fest, French Quarter Festival is set to take place Thursday, September 30 to Sunday, October 3 followed by BUKU’s Planet B happening on Friday, October 22 and Saturday, October 23.
THREE-DAY WEEKEND PRICING
Unlike previous years, Jazz Fest is offering 3-day weekend passes! The passes are non-transferable wristbands with no re-entry. They are available for purchase online only.
I recommend purchasing tickets in advance so you don’t miss out on any early bird discounts.
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: $800
Grand Marshal: $1500
Big Chief: $1600
Now let’s talk about the golden ticket, or should I say brass ticket. The Brass Passes 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 $800.
THE ROLLING STONES WEDNESDAY
Back in 2019, The Rolling Stones were scheduled to headline Jazz Fest. Due to health issues, they were unable to perform. This year, Jazz Fest is having their first-ever “Jazz Fest Wednesday” and the Rolling Stones are performing!
General admission and VIP tickets to see The Rolling Stones at Jazz Fest go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 30. If you already purchased a 3-day weekend pass, VIP package, Brass Pass or an official travel package as of 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 25, you have a chance to participate in a limited presale opportunity.
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 advice 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.