The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival sounds straightforward until you see Ed Sheeran and Lizzo on the lineup poster. The festival, commonly referred to as Jazz Fest, has every bit to do with jazz and heritage, but it’s also so much more. This year, Jazz Fest is taking place April 28-30 and May 4-7 at the Fair Grounds Race Course.
Louisiana is “a spicy stew” that brings together a diverse range of sounds, flavors and cultures. Witness local artists constructing Mardi Gras sculptures at the Louisiana Folklife Village and watch basket weaving demonstrations at the Native American Village. Engage with global sounds at the Cultural Exchange Pavilion, the hallmark of the festival’s multicultural celebration. While Jazz Fest’s iconic crawfish bread will not be making an appearance this year, there will be plenty of other New Orleans flavors, from Crawfish Monica to alligator sausages to beignets.
Spread across 12 stages, the music is just as eclectic as the city. While Grammy award-winning jazz artist Jon Batiste and New Orleans-based bounce musician Big Freedia may not come as a surprise, Jazz Fest will also host Dead & Company (including John Mayer and original members of The Grateful Dead), R&B singer H.E.R., and numerous local artists playing every variation of New Orleans music — and there are more variations than you might think. And the party doesn’t start and end at the festival grounds. Be sure to check out Jazz Fest Grids for a comprehensive guide to live music events around the city.
- About 400,000 people attend the festival each year.
- There are single day and weekend tickets available at different prices both in advance and at the gate (if they’re still available). For the cheapest option, purchase a single-day ticket for $85 in advance. Kids 2 to 10 years old get in for free. Locals with valid Louisiana identification get in on Thursday, May 4 for $50. The full breakdown can be found here.
- Download the New Orleans Jazz Festival App to build your schedule and explore all the festival has to offer.
- Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to New Orleans.
- Consider staying at Virgin Hotels New Orleans.
Are there any vegan/vegetarian food options?
Yes. While some of Louisiana’s signature dishes may not sound appetizing to those on a plant-based diet, the festival usually has a selection of vegan and vegetarian friendly options.
Is the festival accessible to those with disabilities?
Yes, Jazz Fest makes an effort to create a comfortable experience for people of all abilities. Find more information on the Access Center and other services here.
Where can I find the performance schedule?
At the time of this article, the 2023 performance schedule is still not released. The festival “cubes” are typically released about a month before the event on the festival website.