Last updated: 10:00 PM ET, Wed March 16 2016

Opinion Home | The New Orleans Beat

  • March 16, 2016 10:00 PM ET

    Festival? New Orleans Always Has A Festival

    Festival? New Orleans Always Has A Festival

    PHOTO: Stevie Wonder will headline this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (Courtesy New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival)

    A festival is a great way for a diverse group to come together for the weekend. With festivals year-round showcasing its extraordinary food and electrifying music and art, New Orleans is a city that undeniably brings people together and will definitely show you a good time!


    New Orleans is known as the birthplace of jazz and it’s impossible to roam the city without the sound of music filling the air. If you clients are music lovers, then a music festival would be a perfect idea for their vacation. The festivals below will be a sure hit and have a diverse lineup so there is something for everyone to enjoy.

    New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
    With jazz, pop, funk, hip-hop, rock, zydeco, indie, and blues, Jazz Fest has live entertainment for everyone. The seven-day music festival is held at the end of April through the beginning of May at the historic Fair Grounds Race Course. If you want to view all the action up-close then the Krewe of Jazz Fest VIP package may be just right for you. With high-end folding seats along with private, upscale restroom facilities and a dedicated beverage concession area, your clients can enjoy Jazz Fest right in front of the Acura Stage. Everyone will be able to celebrate in style, while watching musical superstars perform just feet away.

    READ MORE: New Orleans Named One of the Top Cities in America

    ESSENCE Festival
    Known as the “party with a purpose”, Essence Festival is a celebration of contemporary black music and culture. Past performers include Beyoncé, Charlie Wilson, Jill Scott, Frankie Beverly, Maze and the locally formed Rebirth Brass Band. Your clients’ celebration can be spent front and center in the Superdome watching their favorites perform with the VIP Weekend Ticket package. They can also enjoy a more intimate performance with artists performing in the four, club-level, super lounges. This will be a truly memorable experience for everyone.

    Voodoo Music Experience
    Each October, the Voodoo Music Experience hosts a spellbinding weekend of music, food and culture in the Big Easy. With past performers such as Metallica, Drake, Outkast and the Foo Fighters, this Halloween-themed festival has continuously been a hit. Clients can dress up in a costume. With food, drinks, interactive large-scale art installations, live entertainment and even carnival rides, the atmosphere at this festival will give your entire group a chance to let loose and have fun.


    If it’s food that you clients enjoy, then you’ve come to the right place. New Orleans and food are practically one and the same.  From gumbo to beignets, there is never a shortage of food here. Your group can savor the flavor at any of these fine food festivals.

    N.O. Wine & Food Experience
    Calling all food and wine lovers! Each spring thousands of food and wine enthusiasts gather in the French Quarter for the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience. The festival showcases hundreds of wineries and restaurants that feature local flavor and innovative new creations. Top chefs from around the city come together for this four-day event to create culinary experiences like no other. Whether your group consists of food connoisseurs, or just looking for a tasty time on the town, this festival has packages to please everyone in the party.

    Tales of the Cocktail
    If your group enjoys a cocktail, shake things up for your clients at this week-long festival! Each summer, the Tales of the Cocktail festival fills the French Quarter with thousands of people alongside some of the country’s best mixologists and bartenders. Your clients can also enjoy lectures, book signings, dinner pairings, cooking and mixing demonstrations. Let the drinks and the good times roll!

    SEE MORE: A ‘New’ New Orleans

    LA Seafood Festival
    With the Gulf of Mexico nearby, the Big Easy serves up some of the best fresh seafood around. Your clients can get a taste of New Orleans at this much-loved three-day festival. With free admission, enjoy three days of live music, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, local arts and crafts, and cuisine from top New Orleans restaurants and caterers. For the food lovers, music lovers, art lovers and even shoppers, this festival has you covered.


    The culture of New Orleans is certainly unlike any other city in the world. This is evidenced in both the food and music. However, New Orleans certainly has more to offer and these festivals serve as lagniappe, or a little something extra, to the Big Easy festival scene.

    Tennessee Williams Festival
    Playwright, Tennessee Williams gave birth to some of literature’s greatest works and credited the wondrous city of New Orleans as his muse. Held each year in late March, the five-day festival celebrates Tennessee Williams’ work and includes a plethora of noteworthy events. With speakers, contests, classes for aspiring writers, countless panels and live theater, this festival has it all; but it wouldn’t be complete without the Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest held in Jackson Square!

    San Fermin/ Running of the Bulls
    Every July in New Orleans, the Annual Running of the Bulls thumps through the streets of downtown New Orleans! The event is meant to pay homage to Encierro of Pamplona held in Spain. Though there are no actual bulls for the event in New Orleans, you and your crew can run from the Big Easy Rollergirls instead. This adrenaline pumping event will be fun for any group and of course there will be wine and spirits to get you in the spirit before and after the run.

    For a full list of festivals in New Orleans click here.


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