Hip to Be Square
YLC Wednesday at the Square Kicks Off
In a city like New Orleans, we benefit from a wealth of local award-winning musicians. We also benefit from a community that values leadership and service projects. Put them together and you get the 12-week free concert series, Young Leadership Council’s YLC Wednesday at the Square.
"We are delighted to produce another amazing year of YLC Wednesday at the Square concerts for our community and visitors to enjoy,” said Stephanie Powell, executive director of Young Leadership Council, in a press release. “The series would not be possible without the work of hundreds of volunteers, who handle everything from securing crowd-pleasing talent to the logistics and marketing of the event. It is always so inspiring to see these young professional leaders in action.”
YLC is a nonprofit civic organization that develops leadership in young professionals through community projects. Its Wednesday at the Square series is a key fundraiser to support its work through the proceeds of food and drink sales. YLC’s membership base of more than 600 individuals tracked over 10,000 volunteer hours on 11 community service projects in 2017.
Located in the beautiful Central Business District park, Lafayette Square, Wednesday at the Square has grown tremendously through the years. It has a local reputation as the place to be on Wednesday evenings, whether you are coming straight from work or straight from the airport.
The food vendors offer a variety of options for dining al fresco on our sweet spring evenings, and even the vegetarians have multiple options at this festival. 2018 food vendors include: Ajun Cajun; Bud’s Broiler; Crêpes à la Cart; Fogo De Chao; Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls; Jambalaya Guy; Let Us Cater For You; Manning’s Sports Bar and Grill; Saucey’s BBQ; Oceana Grill; The Halal Guys; Theo’s Neighborhood Pizza; Tsunami Sushi; and Zippy Fruit. I’m excited to try the grilled crabs, beef rib sliders and the Oceana nachos. You can visit the website to plan your meal in advance.
The food, however delicious, is not the star of this series. The critically-acclaimed musicians who fill the 12-week roster bring a variety of genres to the festival. From Cajun to rock to brass bands and blues, it’s fun to watch longtime fans sing along with every word and new fans being created at the same time. Headliners include Lost Bayou Ramblers, Sweet Crude, Marc Broussard and Bonerama, and openers bring their own incredible talent with the likes of Helen Gillet, The Deslondes and Darcy Malone.
The music starts at 5:00 p.m. each Wednesday. All shows are free but if sitting with the plebeians and using the all-access Port-a-Potties is beneath you, VIP passes are available for purchase for $40 for a single concert and $400 for the entire season.
2018 YLC Wednesday at the Square Lineup:
March 14 – The Lost Bayou Ramblers with co-headliner Mia Borders
March 21 – Walter “Wolfman" Washington with opener Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes
March 28 – Marc Broussard with opener Helen Gillet
April 4 – Sweet Crude with opener Travers Geoffray
April 11 – Flow Tribe with To Be Announced
April 18 – Wayne Toups with opener Darcy Malone
April 25 – Big Sam's Funky Nation with opener The Deslondes
May 2 – Amanda Shaw with opener Trumpet Mafia
May 9 – Bonerama with opener N'awlins Johnnys
May 16 – Headliner To Be Announced with opener Motel Radio
May 23 – Maggie Koerner with opener Naughty Professor
May 30 – Shamarr Allen with co-headliner Robin Barnes and the Fiyabirds
Please note: Headliner performs from 6:30 – 8 p.m. Opening act from 5 – 6 p.m. Co-headliners receive equal time with the first act, performing from 5 – 6:15 p.m. and the second act from 6:45 – 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 6 and Wednesday, June 13 are reserved as rain dates.