New Orleans Jazz Fest is part of the culture down here. Once the town cleans up from Mardi gras, people begin to talk about “jazz fest.” My in-laws have been going since the first year it opened… back when tickets were about $10. It is the largest music festival in the area where over 12 different acts happen simultaneously. How is it possible? The fest takes over the entire racetrack and many stages are set up with different music venues and styles.
While I love the food there, I am not a huge jazz fest goer. What can I say; it’s not my thing. It is, however, one of my husband’s favorite things to do and he looks forward to going every year. I remember paying $20 a day to go when we were dating ten years ago. Looking back, it was a great deal… to pay so little and see so many quality acts in one place. Now, tickets are $60 per day just to get in… not to mention the ridiculous amount you’ll pay for food and drinks. –Many locals are upset that the venue was sold to a private event company and is no longer “locally” owned.-
This year, we received two complimentary tickets thanks to Acura, our favorite car company. We own two Acuras and will probably purchase another without question in the future. Had we not received the complimentary tickets, I doubt I would have paid $60 just to get the BEST cochon de lait sandwich. Because Eric’s family attends jazz fest, we would have had no option to leave the kids for an entire day with anyone unless we added the cost of a sitter. Thanks to the free tickets, we brought both kids with us and paid the $5 kid entry ticket.
Once at jazz fest, we went everywhere in the double stroller and sampled a lot of food. My kids had at least two snowballs each (it was a hot day) and God only knows what else. We met up with my sisters and Joseph at the fest and that made everyone’s day.
It was a hot and crowed day last Sunday, but well worth the outing. The Blues Tent, Jazz Tent, and Gospel Tents host some of the best and most soulful music you’ll ever hear. In the afternoon we headed to the Congo Square to hear some Alejandro Sanz and John Legend.
While many people bring their kids to Jazz Fest, I do not believe it’s a “kid friendly” environment. They have a Kids & Family Tent and an activity center. However, unless you want to spend the entire day in the area, there isn’t much for kids to do (and it gets old after a short while). I should also mention that Jazz Fest is a “free for all” kind of place; meaning, some people wear the most obnoxious, revealing, are-you-kidding-me, where-did-that-come-from clothes I’ve seen. With that in mind, it’s not the type of place I would like my kids to hang out….Oh, and I won’t mention the freshly lit joints you’ll smell at any given time during a show. Ok, ok, maybe not in the Kids & Family Tent… but in all the outdoor stages for sure. I am no prude, but it’s something I would rather my kids to not be around.
Overall, we had a fantastic family day and I’m glad we went. I think the kids slept for thirteen hours that night! New Orleans has a lot to offer, Jazz Fest being among one of them. If you’ve never been, it’s definitely worth attending.
I did not receive any compensation for this post and as always, the opinions are my own. The two complimentary tickets from Acura were not given to us for this post, but because we choose to service our cars with them (oil changes and 30,60,90k maintenance checks kinda thing).