The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival final weekend starts Thursday, May 2. The festival is located at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course. If this is going to be a first year going to Jazz Fest for anyone, this survival guide will help make your experience go as smoothly as possible.
The start to a good Jazz Fest experience begins with packing the necessities. Dress for warm weather; it’s during the hottest part of the day. It’s always nice to have something to sit on, may it be a chair, a blanket, or anything you find comfortable and are willing to carry. If you know you burn easily, then sunscreen will be a great asset. You can bring in water, as long as the bottles are sealed.
If Mid-City New Orleans is a not known territory, then parking may be difficult. A good place to park during Jazz Fest is Cabrini High School. It’s $30 parking, which is steep, but it is located right next to the Fair Grounds, making it a good find. There are also some park-and-ride shuttle services that are worth a google search.
Once in the festival, it is good to find a spot to drop your chairs and/or blanket. It’s good to have a home base to meet people, have a permanent spot at the stage of your choice, and reserve a place where you want to be at the end of the day when space gets limited. You can even leave your chairs there. No one will mess with them as you wander around.
If you’re not familiar with Jazz Fest, then it is a good idea to download the Jazz Festival app from the app store. It gives you a map of the Fair Ground, along with a schedule of the weekend’s lineup. You can even plan your personal schedule by using the “favorites” feature.
While you’re attending the festival, be sure to try some of the traditional New Orleans food. Some favorites are the Jambalaya, Gumbo, and Crawfish Monica, but it’s all good.
Due to the recent Boston Marathon bombings, the security may be a tad stricter than past years. If you’re wondering what you can and can’t bring, here is a link to check out: Jazz Fest Prohibited Items.