French Quarter Festival: 20 Stages with Live Music, Food, Beer and More April 21-24 | Events

French Quarter Festival does not have a supply chain problem.

When the festival kicks into high gear on Saturday and Sunday, there will be bands on 20 stages spread throughout the French Quarter and along the river, food stalls galore and plenty of cold beer. In fact, there may even be too much to choose from – and it’s time to take advantage of the excess.

The festival lineup includes 270 bands on festival stages from Thursday April 21 to Sunday April 24. Performers include Irma Thomas, Tank and the Bangas, Rickie Lee Jones, Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indians, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, Walter Wolfman Washington and many others. The music starts at 11 a.m. and continues until 8 p.m. on some of the larger stages, especially the Chevron Stage in the parking lot of the Jax Brewery.

The festival is a celebration of Louisiana music and a wide variety of genres are represented. Most major stages offer a variety of styles, but some stages have dedicated offerings. From Friday to Sunday, the New Orleans Jazz Museum’s Louisiana Fish Fry stage presents a line-up almost exclusively made up of marching bands. The traditional jazz scene in the French market delivers exactly as it says, and on Saturdays and Sundays there’s plenty of traditional jazz on the smaller stages on Bourbon Street.

Some days the stages take on a particular twist, like the Acadiana sounds on the Chevron Stage on Sundays – featuring Cameron Dupuy and the Cajun Troubadours, the Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, the Waylon Thibodeaux Band, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, and Rockin ‘ Dopsie Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters. Grand Chief Juan Pardo and the Golden Comanches also have a set on stage that day. On Saturdays and Sundays there is a singer-songwriter stage on Royal Street, which also hosts youth and student groups on the Ernie’s Schoolhouse stage.

The French Quarter Festival After Dark series offers nightly concerts at local venues, but tickets are required for a few shows. The George Porter Jr. Trio performs a free show at the Double Dealer at 9 p.m. Thursday, April 21. Cha Wa performs at the Ace Hotel at 9 p.m. on Friday, April 22. Cyril Neville performs at the Hotel Saint Vincent at 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. April 23. Visit frenchquarterfest.org/special-events for tickets.

There are educational activities for children at the Chevron Children’s STEM Carnival at Natchez Wharf on Saturday and Sunday. Free dance lessons are offered at the French Market Traditional Jazz Stage and at the Chevron Cajun-Zydeco Showcase.

The festival has no vaccination requirements for entry, but it is setting up a community health center which will provide free masks, COVID tests, rapid antigen tests and vaccinations. The hub is in Oscar Dunn Park, overlooking Jackson Square from the seawall, and there’s also a place at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. The festival has a nursing station that provides privacy for mothers, and there is a KultureCity SAVE activation space for people with sensory needs.

More than 60 restaurants and food vendors will set up booths in Jackson Square, the Jax Brewery parking lot, Kohlmeyer’s Lawn and other riverside spots, as well as the New York Jazz Museum. Orleans.

On the following pages, Gambit provides an overview of some of the bands performing at the festival, including up-and-coming artists and bands with new albums. For a step-by-step program and map, see the flyer in this week’s Gambit, and festival information is also available at frenchquarterfest.org.

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