The 2013 Voodoo Music and Art Experience in New Orleans City Park concluded on Nov. 3. The three-day festival held acts including The Cure, Paramore, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Matt & Kim, Bassnectar, Afrojack, Nine Inch Nails, and Calvin Harris. The festival was held from Friday, Nov. 1 through Nov. 3. The festival’s location remained at City Park, however the entirety of the festival was moved to a new area of the park in what will be the park’s “permanent” fairgrounds.
The new layout was not a hit amongst annual Voodoo-goers. The entire festival seemed smaller and more crowded. In previous years, the stages were far enough away from each other that the music from one stage could not be heard at the other. However, that was not the case with this year’s Voodoo and the new layout. It seemed that at every stage, if a bystander was not directly in front of the crowd near the speakers, he or she could hear music from some other stage.
Friday night’s major performances included Pearl Jam, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Calvin Harris. Harris, an electronic musician, changed the tempo and other aspects of his music quite frequently, which kept the crowd entertained. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were only marginally entertaining. The elaborate outfits worn by the rapper did not correlate with his lacking musical skills. Also, Calvin Harris began around 30 minutes into Macklemore’s set, and considering that Macklemore sang his most popular three songs within the first fifteen minutes of his show, many people began to leave. Pearl Jam, however, was excellent. The renowned band graced the audience with a rather long set of a little over two hours.
Saturday’s headlining performances included Nine Inch Nails, Paramore, and Afrojack. Paramore, led by singer Hayley Williams, kicked off the evening’s performances. The band actually performed quite well and kept the crowd entertained. Afrojack, an electronic musician, also enthralled the crowd with lots of bass and melodies that kept the crowd dancing. Nine Inch Nails’ set ended Saturday night’s festivities. Like Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails also had an unusually long set. This set kept the crowd entertained the entire time with a fusion of rock and electronic music.
Sunday, the last night of the festival, included artists such as The Cure, Kid Rock, Matt & Kim, Bassnectar, and Beats Antique. Kid Rock’s show lasted around an hour and fifteen minutes, which was way too long, as far as many people were concerned. After Kid Rock, a rather interesting group was on stage, Beats Antique. The group had a worldly and Middle Eastern sound that they adapted so the crowd could dance. Eventually, Bassnectar, a very popular electronic musician took the stage. Once the music began, the crowd went wild. The Cure ended Sunday’s festivities. The Cure’s set was one of the most crowded sets due to it being the closing performance of the festival.
Ticket prices for The Voodoo Experience varied, depending on how near to the event a buyer purchases them. Tickets were upwards of $300 near the beginning of the festival. However, tickets for the 2014 Voodoo Experience are already on sale at a discounted rate for $99 for general admission and $300 for VIP.
The steep price of $300 per ticket at the door is not worth the money, at least at this year’s event. The new smaller layout was too confined. If Voodoo expects to gain in size every year, the area for the festival should not get smaller.