Festival season, is it really a season or just the whole year? Louisiana boasts over 400 festivals each year celebrating music, food, history, holidays, and some unique ideas worth celebrating. Each year new festivals are born, and others keep growing and expanding. This year over four days in April (11-14,) The largest free festival in the southeast will descend on the French Quarter: French Quarter Festival.
Started back in 1984, French Quarter Festival (FQF) was a vehicle to encourage folks to visit the French Quarter, as it had just finished extensive street repairs, and celebrate Louisiana. 36 years later the festival has grown into 20 music stages peppered throughout the French Quarter and Woldenberg Park. All the different styles of Louisiana music are represented from traditional and contemporary jazz to R&B, NOLA funk, Brass Bands, folk, gospel, latin, zydeco, classical cabaret and international. In fact, over the four days of the festival, over 1700 musicians will be working, entertaining folks all day and into the evening. Don’t forget that when the festival ends each day, the night time is is filled with clubs and music venues to keep the groove going until as late as you want to go. Bourbon Street is especially exciting during FQF, because the street is transformed into a row of stages lining Bourbon St. with some of the best traditional new orleans jazz you will hear ever. Bands that perform Traditional New Orleans Jazz in other countries (esp. Germany and Japan,) make their way to New Orleans to be apart of the celebration.
The celebration is not limited to music. Over 60 restaurants and drink establishments set up tents throughout the quarter so as you are strolling around you can eat and drink all the wondrous flavors New Orleans has to offer. From fine dining to snowball stands and all that is in between, the variety of food is immense and there is always a cocktail stand nearby to wash it all down. The hardest part of the festival is organizing your days so you can take in all that you want to enjoy.
One of the best ways to get a jump start on the festival is to download the French Quarter Fest app. The app will showcase performers, stages and times, as well as the food map for all the vendors so you can keep jamming all day. And if you need a break, all the businesses are open as well so you can get some shopping in or just take a break. So if you are in need of feeling the local flavor of Louisiana through it’s music and food, then about checking out French Quarter Fest.