The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, also referred to as Jazz Fest, is an annual 10-day cultural celebration that beckons musicians, craftsmen, culinary artists, and visitors from all over the world. The venue is held at Fair Grounds Race Course and showcases memorable music performance on multiple stages, accompanied by exquisite cuisine meal options, as well as top-shelf artisans’ work that can be purchased. The festival takes place the last weekend of April, usually from Friday to Sunday, and then continues during the first weekend of May, usually from Thursday to Sunday.
The festival itself holds great economic importance, and it no longer focuses on bringing Jazz artists exclusively. The featured show encompasses all music genres associated with Louisiana and New Orleans culture so you can expect to see gospel, blues, R&B, bluegrass, Afro-Caribbean, Cajun, folk, zydeco, rock, rap, Latin, and country, in addition to Jazz. Guests will want to find a nearby campsite and be sure to include this event in their itenerary.
The festival was founded by George Wein back in 1970, and ever since its inception, it has been viewed as an event of significant cultural importance. Year after year its growth momentum has only increased, and it has become a symbol of authenticity and economic value.
New Orleans Jazz Fest offers multiple ticket tiers to choose from, and their prices will vary depending on when they are purchased. You can also expect the price to be lower for children (between 2 and 10). You can generally expect to see single-day tickets for general admission and different types of VIP tickets with specific perks.
Tickets can be purchased online, or at the box office specified on their website. Online purchases tend to be handled by an authorized third party platform, so their delivery details might be on a different website. Luckily, will call pickups are also an option, but make sure you have your ID with you at the pickup station.
If an artist you want to see cancels for some reason, the organizers will offer refunds related to your purchase, otherwise purchased tickets cannot be refunded. Make sure you go over the refund policy on their website, as the cancelation process is different depending on how the ticket was purchased.
Alternatively, you can apply to volunteer and help with the organization, which will grant you access to the festival, but you will be busy during the shows assisting the staff. For ticket sale and volunteering program, specifics make sure you visit the official New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival website.
The festival is held just 10 minutes away from the French Quarter, at the Fair Grounds Race Course on 1751 Gentilly Boulevard. You may travel there from your nearby RV park either via shuttle service, a bike, or a cab. RV camps are conveniently located, and you may be around 10 to 20 minutes away from the venue.
Plan to station your camper at your campsite before arriving at the Fair Grounds Race Course since RV parking is not available at the venue. Due to congestion near the site, the festival works to make arrangements for guests to arrive by shuttle and group transportation. A plethora of private parking options are available as you near the Mississippi River area. Also, RV camping options can be found as close as the French Quarter area and near Plum Orchard and Pines Village and may land you near the venue or the associated shuttle setups.
Usually, Grey Lines is handling round-trip shuttle service, and the name of the shuttle is the Jazz Fest Express. If you plan to use shuttle service make sure you look up the pickup stations either on the event website or on the Gray Line website. You can also get there on a bicycle, as there are dedicated cycling routes that lead to the venue, and you can utilize the dedicated bicycle docking lots during your time at the festival.
Due to the venue layout, Jazz Fest does not accommodate RVs and campers; fortunately, RV resorts are just minutes away. You will easily find nearby campgrounds in the French Quarter, Plum Orchard, and Pines Village.
Nearby RV camp owners are fully cognizant of the event and tend to offer reservation packages specially tailored for festival-goers. You can expect great accommodations, a pet-friendly environment, and lots of green parks where you can set up your RV and fire up your BBQ. Campgrounds in the area also offer full hookups, spacious parking, and many other guest-centric amenities and perks to make your stay more pleasant and memorable.
Bear in mind that the festival is really popular so don’t be too hesitant to book your stay weeks or months in advance. RV campgrounds are available in the nearby communities of Plum Orchard and Pines Village. You will find additional campgrounds along the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain with a bit more distant from Fair Grounds Race Course.
Mobility devices are only allowed for guests with disabilities, and everybody else moves on foot. The venue is quite spacious, and for first timers, it will be easy to get lost in the teeming crowd. Have a festival map either on your cell phone or printed out on a paper that you can carry, so that you can navigate the site more efficiently. If you are not sure how to get to the desired location, festival staff or volunteers will gladly help you. Ideally, you can download the official app, as it will help you keep track of the festival schedule, and help you find other points of interest while you are there.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival happens during mid-spring, and therefore weather can range from nicely warm to scorching hot. Make sure you dress in unrestrictive clothing so that it doesn’t become uncomfortable. You’ll be glad to find several shady trees scattered around the venue so you will have a place to cool off in between the concerts. However, the artists perform in a wide open area, so bringing sunglasses, and a wide brim hat would be a good idea.
You can bring a small backpack or handbag with you, as well as a single collapsible chair or blanket for sitting. A single sealed plastic bottle with water is allowed as are strollers for kids. Wheelchairs and medical scooters are only permitted for guests with disabilities. For a full list of prohibited items visit the official website and make sure you check it a few days before the festival since it is prone to change.
Remember to refill your plastic water bottle frequently and stay hydrated. The refill stations are listed on the map so you will have no trouble finding them during breaks between the concerts. Also, bring sunscreen or sunblock and apply it to your skin for an extra layer of protection. |f it’s too hot, try to get under a tree and stay in its shadow for a bit to cool off.
RV parks offer you a fantastic option for cooking inside or outside of your camper; however, you will need to check the regulations for open flame and propane grill cooking for your campground. Only food vendors who applied for a food booth are allowed to cook at the venue.
New Orleans is known for tasty treats to match its dynamic history and powerful cultural setting. Take a stroll through the streets of time and find your new favorite dish. You are sure to create lasting memories with your crew and find meal options on every corner in this land of delicious smells and treats.
Food specialties are an essential part of the event, and you can rest assured that there will be much more than simple festival meal options. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival features an array of different and exquisite cuisines, and just like with performers, the possibilities are different on each day of the festival. You should have the app to keep track of the available food options on the day you plan to attend. Food and beverage vendors will be scattered throughout the festival area. Crafts and art vendors will be there as well. Should you run low on cash, there will be ATMs on the festival grounds.
The festival is family-friendly, so security will be tight to ensure everyone is safe. There will be security staff and police present at the event. Each guest and vehicle will be searched at the entrance, and metal detectors will be used. The prohibited item list is available on their website, and it is a part of an official app, so monitor that list closely so as not to bring along something that will end up being confiscated.
You should check the weather forecast and plan your attire accordingly. In the case of scorching heat, there will be places with air conditioning or spots that provide shade, so that you are not exposed to the sun all day long. Some concerts are inside the tents so regardless of the weather conditions you should be comfortable.
Medical tents will be displayed on the festival map. If you are not feeling well, or if someone in the near vicinity needs assistance, you’ll know exactly where to go. The nearest medical center is less than 10 minutes away by car should you need care during your time in the area.