Jack and I both love music, and live music is the best! So, when people said to us "you ARE staying for the Festival, aren't you?" We decided we should, if we could. When the small FQ RV Park we were staying in actually had an available space for us, we took it as a good omen and booked it. And we're glad we did!
French Quarter Festival celebrated it's 29th year as the largest free music festival in the South. A record 22 music stages throughout the French Quarter presented the best in New Orleans music, representing every genre from traditional and contemporary jazz to R & B and New Orleans funk, brass bands, folk, gospel, classical, cabaret, opera, Cajun Zydeco, Latin World, International, as well as a musical stage for children. They had over 800 local musicians, over 250 hours of free music and over 500,000 festival goers. Of course, throughout all these areas were food & beverage vendors (very good & very reasonable too) to keep everyone healthy. Did I say this was big? You bet! And FUN!!
We mostly like Cajun/Zydeco and traditional Jazz. The first two days were from 11-6 with only 5 stages having 5 groups at each stage. The weekend they expanded to their full hours of 11-9 with the 22 stages and varying the number of groups playing at each stage. All in all, we managed to listen to about 20 groups that we actually stayed and enjoyed (not counting the ones we stopped, listened to and said "not our taste" & moved on). Of course, the street performers were out in full force and of course, people watching was at an all time high in entertainment!
Here's just a few pictures of our many favorites, all the rest are in my Flickr account at:
Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band
Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys
The Festival ended our two week visit to New Orleans and we left the following morning. It felt kind of like one does right after you finished your Thanksgiving dinner, it was wonderful, but your to full to eat any more, and you have to back off from the table and just go rest. That's what we did when we drove to Natchez. It poured down rain (just like when we arrived in NOLA) for two days which gave us just the down time we needed before we began our "next adventure" - the Natchez Trace...
...on the road, Marie