There is always something to celebrate in New Orleans. From culinary experiences to local artist and entertainment showcases, there’s a festival for everyone. Here are seven New Orleans festivals to add to your calendar this season.
Crawfest at Tulane University
A festival for crawfish? Crawfest is an annual student-run music and food festival at Tulane University on the Berger Family Lawn. The day-long event for Tulane students, staff, faculty, parents and alumni includes pounds of boiled crawfish, drinks and live music from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tulanecrawfest.com
April 1 - 2
Hogs for the Cause
Fill up on BBQ and jam out to live music at this philanthropic festival. Attendees can try meat dishes from more than 90 BBQ teams, grab a drink and listen to some big-name Americana artists. This fun festival is for a serious cause. Hogs for the Cause is one of the leading funding sources for pediatric brain cancer in the U.S. The festival is at the UNO Lakefront Arena Festival Grounds beginning at 3:30pm on Friday, April 1 and 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 2. Hogsforthecause.org
April 29 - May 8
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest
Dive into New Orleans’ rich music and arts culture at Jazz Fest. This seven-day festival spans over two weeks and features legendary artists like Stevie Nicks, The Who, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Buffet and Erykah Badu. The experience includes a live music festival, an arts and crafts fair and tasty food vendors. Jazz Fest is held at the Fair Grounds Race Course on Gentilly Boulevard open from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Nojazzfest.com
Norman Spence from Tank & the Bangas
A New Orleans band performing at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest
How does it feel to return to New Orleans for the Jazz Fest? It is a beautiful experience. It’s such an honor. I remember when we did Jazz Fest for the first time and then got called back each year later. It’s still an honor.
What do you plan to bring to the stage with this performance? We always plan to bring great energy and show appreciation for the space. We want to inspire whether it’s a big stage or small. Hopefully we can bring the sunshine.
How will this performance differ from previous Jazz Fest shows? It will be more mature. We have an album coming out, so we will be performing a lot of songs from that album.
What’s your favorite Jazz Fest memory? Playing on the Acura stage, the big stage. We’re a little band that started at an open mic, so we’re glad to be back.
Crescent City Classic & RaceFest
Break a sweat, then bust a move at this annual 10K road race and festival on the Saturday before Easter. The Crescent City Classic begins in downtown New Orleans in front of the Caesars Superdome and ends at New Orleans City Park. The RaceFest takes place after the race and is free for runners and children 10 years or younger. It will have music, food, drinks, a costume contest, an award ceremony and a “Family Fun Zone” with inflatables and obstacle courses. CC10k.com
May 20 - 22
Mid City Bayou Boogaloo
Float along Bayou St. John with an ice-cold drink, soaking up the sun and listening to live music at the Bayou Boogaloo festival. The event will include 30 bands on four stages, food and alcohol vendors, a children’s stage, an art market and water activities. Attendees can enjoy the festivities on the greenspace or drift atop inflatable floaties, paddleboards and other watercraft on the water. Thebayouboogaloo.com
Jake Eckert from New Orleans Suspects
A New Orleans band performing at Hogs for the Cause
How does it feel to return to New Orleans for Hogs for the Cause? We’ve always loved playing in New Orleans. As a band out of New Orleans, it’s our favorite place to play. No contest. We can never wait to get home.
What do you plan to bring to the stage with this performance? A fresh take. We’re coming back rejuvenated and ready to put the last two tough years behind us.
How will this performance differ from previous Hogs for the Cause shows? We’ll have new music. We have an album that is almost done that we’ve been working on during the pandemic. We have a new horn player. We’re excited to have a new spin on what we’ve been doing for 12 years.
What are you most looking forward to about Hogs for the Cause? We’re excited to start the 2022 festival season. Hogs for the Cause has a cool location, a great lineup and I’m looking forward to checking out some of the other music artists.
French Quarter Festival
What better way to enjoy local music than in the French Quarter? French Quarter Festival includes artists on more than 20 stages playing genres such as traditional and contemporary jazz, R&B, New Orleans funk, brass bands, folk, gospel, Latin, Zydeco, classical, cabaret and international. Local restaurants serve food and beverages in Jackson Square, the Jazz Museum at the Mint, JAX Brewery and Woldenberg Riverfront Park during the festival weekend. French-quarterfest.org
June 30 - July 3
Essence Festival of Culture
There’s no place quite like Essence Festival. People from all over the world flood the streets of New Orleans to celebrate Black culture through live music, art, wellness events and dining experiences. Essence.com