French Quarter Festival
Once a small neighborhood festival with six stages along Bourbon Street and Royal Street in 1984, the French Quarter Festival now boasts 23 stages that are scattered throughout the Quarter, showcasing Louisiana music to the world in what is unofficially considered the kick-off to the New Orleans festival season.
During four days (April 9 – 12 this year), crowds have been known to swell beyond 500,000 – all eager to experience the free live music event that employs over 1,400 local musicians – musicians that represent the broad range of musical styles, genres and artists that have emerged from Louisiana.
The estimated economic impact of the festival hovers around $251 million, and once again in 2015, the festival is expanding by adding two new stages; the Spanish Plaza stage that has three days of programming, and the Omni Royal Orleans stage located at 500 Royal Street with traditional jazz performances on Saturday and Sunday.
This year’s festival-goers will also get to experience 12 new acts that will be joining a world class line-up of Louisiana’s finest; Kermit Ruffins, Allen Toussaint, Ellis Marsalis and Irvin Mayfield.
Beyond the music, events have been sprouting up around the festival, morphing it into a unique cultural experience that people travel from all over the world to enjoy; from dance lessons, to battle of the bands, Crawfish eating contests, art shows and dedicated children areas.
“The World’s Largest Jazz Brunch” will feature over 60 vendors serving New Orleans dishes throughout the four-days.
The French Quarter Festival Second-Line Parade takes place on Thursday, April 9 at 10 a.m. from the 100 block of Bourbon Street.
“Let Them Talk: Conversations about Louisiana Music” is a series of free presentations and performances at the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, third floor Auditorium on Saturday and Sunday.
Le Petit Theatre will host “Film Fest at French Quarter Festival”. Schedule to be announced.
To learn more about the festival and for a full schedule, visit http://fqfi.org/frenchquarter