Hogs for the Cause

Hogs for the Cause 2024

APRIL 05-06, 2024


New Orleans is preheating its grills for the annual barbecue festival Hogs for the Cause, a major fundraiser for pediatric brain cancer.

Have you ever been invited to a pig-themed party? You would be surprised by the various things you can do while staying on-theme. At Hogs for the Cause –  a two-day barbecue festival in New Orleans – you could bump into a big hog-shape barbecue where ribs are grilled in its belly, you could get a ride on a pig golf cart or you could get a picture with one of the many mascots wearing inflatable pig costumes around UNO Lakefront Arena. The theme is definitely taken seriously here, but if you’re looking for a more sober outfit choice, just wear a bubble gum pink set and go with the flow. 

Hogs for the Cause was originally founded in 2008 to honor the Southern tradition of open-flame pig roasts. By its second year, the event had turned into a fundraiser for children with pediatric brain cancer after the event’s founders, Rene Louapre and Becker Hall, met 4-year-old Ben Sarrat Jr. who had an incurable brain tumor. Hogs for the Cause is now one of the most prolific donors to charities, families and hospital programs fighting the disease. Only last year, the festival’s 15th edition raised $3.6 million and saw a record-breaking crowd. 

So what happens at Hogs for the Cause? Over 90 barbecue teams compete in four different categories – pork ribs, Boston butt/pork shoulder, whole hog and porkpourri – to bring home the title of Best Champion. To enter the competition, a team must sign up for at least three of these categories and raise at least $4,000, then cook non-stop day and night to feed the crowd. Hogs for the Cause also brings in local and touring musicians to play on three different stages while you pig out. In the past years, Alabama’s soul powerhouse St. Paul & the Broken Bones, local indie pop and rock band Sweet Crude and blues musician Tab Benoit had the crowd dancing. This year’s line up includes Nashville based retro band Jive Talk, alternative band Briscoe, and musician Tanner Usrey. Band of Horses and Shane Smith & The Saints will headline. 

The Specs

  • Every year nearly 30,000 people gather at Hogs for the Cause.
  • Two-Day General Admission tickets are now $99. Two-Day Boss Hog VIP are $469. Two-Day Judge are $170. Single-day tickets are also available. 
  • Whether this is your first time in the area or not, check out our Fifty Grande guide to the best things to do in New Orleans




What is the closest airport to Hogs for the Cause?

The closest international airport to Hogs for the Cause is Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. 

Is the festival family-friendly?

Yes, kids under 10 don’t pay. 

Can I bring my dog?

Pets are not allowed at the festival. 

Are there any vegetarian options?

Yes. The majority of food will be meat-based but there will be some vegetarian options available.

Who is the 2024 lineup?

Band of Horses, Shane Smith & The Saints, The Record Company, Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country, Tanner Usery, Drayton Farley, Briscoe, Eggy, Cole Chaney, The Mountain Grass Unite, The Ries Brothers, Yasmin Williams, The Iceman Special, Gyasi, Jive Talk, Deltaphonic, Chris Christy Quintet, Grace Bowers.


BY Anna Montagner