Jazz Fest

Must-See Festivals in New Orleans This April

It’s festival season in New Orleans– also known as Spring–meaning there is music in the (humid) air and event after event to attend. Below are a select few of the many festivals happening this April.

Wednesday at the Square, Lafayette Square – April 1st (and April 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th)

YLC Wednesday at the Square (W@TS) is a 12-week spring concert series with food and drink for sale to benefit the Young Leadership Council, the event organizer and local nonprofit created to develop leadership through community projects. The increasingly popular rock and roll band The Revivalists is currently on tour in locations all the way from Oregon to New York, with a number of stops in New Orleans in between. The seven-man band will be playing for free on April 1st in Lafayette Square. If you’re here the whole month, you’re in luck; there are four other W@TS events in April. More information and additional concert dates are available at wednesdayatthesquare.com.

Freret Street Festival – April 4th

Much like other festivals in the Crescent City, Freret Street Festival is the convergence of music, food, crafts and the cultural uniqueness that is New Orleans. Stretching eight blocks along Freret Street in between Napoleon Avenue and Jefferson Avenue, the festival will be host to live music on three stages and over 150 vendors showcasing local art, crafts and wearables. New Orleans is also a great biking city because of its flat, gridded streets. The festival offers a free bike valet along with car parking in two nearby lots. Find out more at freretstreetfestival.com.

Local musician Trombone Shorty playing to thousands at Jazz Fest in 2012. Photo by Julia Ballard.

Local musician Trombone Shorty playing to thousands at Jazz Fest in 2012. Photo by Julia Ballard.

Jazz Fest – April 24th – 26th; April 30th (and May 1st – 3rd)

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival–or Jazz Fest for short–is not just for jazz lovers, and it’s not even just one weekend.  The “10-day cultural feast” is scheduled for the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots (1751 Gentilly Blvd). The first Jazz Fest was held in 1970, created to celebrate culture of Louisiana with the combined fervor of a gospel hymn and the joy of a jazz parade. Now, the festival attracts over 435,000 attendees and boasts tons of music genres, cuisines, and crafts that encompass the wide array of styles of the city and its people. Beyond the 12 music stages, New Orleanians and Jazz Festers alike know that a lot happens outside of the festival as well, including some big names in music playing late night shows. See the full lineup and buy tickets at nojazzfest.com.

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