Missed Jazz Fest? Don’t be sad: New Orleans festivals abound this summer

Leah D. Nelson - AXS Contributor
By: AXS Contributor May 14, 2014
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Music lovers who couldn’t make it to Jazz Fest or who were lucky enough to attend but have a hankering for more great music and delectable food won’t be disappointed in New Orleans during 2014’s summer season. Besides offering weekly outdoor concerts at Louis Armstrong Park and Lafayette Square, the birthplace of jazz is home to many exciting festivals during the warmest months of the year. The exciting list of NOLA summer festival headliners includes Prince and Big Freedia. Here’s three not-to-be-missed Big Easy music festivals.

  • 3.Bayou Boogaloo
    Celebrating its ninth year of music and fun, the 2014 Bayou Boogaloo will be held on the banks of Bayou St. John, and admission is free.  Th
    Rick Diamond/Getty Images

    Celebrating its ninth year of music and fun, the 2014 Bayou Boogaloo will be held on the banks of Bayou St. John, and admission is free.  The Mid-City festival runs from May 16-18 and features performances by local favorites Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, indie rockers Vox and the Hound and the booty-shaking antics of Big Freedia. A “zero-waste” event that encourages recycling, composting and reducing overall waste, event organizers encourage Bayou Boogaloo attendees to utilize public or alternative transportation to reach the festival. In addition, don’t miss the Rubber Ducky Derby, a traditional part of the Boogaloo.

  • 2.Essence Fest
    The biggest news in New Orleans summer festivals is the Essence Fest lineup, headlined by the one-and-only Prince. Sponsored by Essence maga
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    The biggest news in New Orleans summer festivals is the Essence Fest lineup, headlined by the one-and-only Prince. Sponsored by Essence magazine, the festival will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome from July 3-6. Featuring two stages, the festival offers attendees much more than music. Empowering seminars are an important part of the festivities, and arts and crafts will showcase African-American history and culture. Along with the iconic Hall of Famer, who will strut his stuff on the Main Stage on Independence Day, Grammy winners The Roots, Lionel Richie, Estelle and Naughty By Nature will also perform at the 2014 Essence Festival.

  • 1.Satchmo SummerFest
    First held in 2001, the Satchmo SummerFest traditionally takes over the Old U.S. Mint in the French Quarter the first week in August. This y
    Rick Diamond/Getty Images

    First held in 2001, the Satchmo SummerFest traditionally takes over the Old U.S. Mint in the French Quarter the first week in August. This year’s SatchmoFest runs from July 31-Aug. 3, and the festival lauds itself as being dedicated to the music and legacy of Louis Armstrong. The 2014 lineup has yet to be announced, but 2013 headliners included NOLA legends Kermit Ruffins and the Barbeque Swingers, the Preservation Hall Brass Band and Ellis Marsalis. Attendees should plan to start dancing early on August 1, SatchmoFest’s official opening day, which will kick off with a lively second line. Admission is free.

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