Jazz Fest 2013 Survival Guide

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Jazz Fest 2013 Survival Guide





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The year is coming to an end and the music lovers of Loyola are rejoicing for Jazz Fest. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival originated in 1970 and has completely evolved over the years. Famed gospel singer Mahalia Jackson returned to her hometown of New Orleans to perform at the first ever Jazz Fest, with only 350 people in attendance. Today, with over 450,000 festival attendees, it has become a staple of New Orleans culture. While some students are going to see headliners like Maroon 5, Billy Joel and Fleetwood Mac, others are going for those bands only true New Orleanians have heard of. With over 70 vendors scattered around City Park, crowd favorite foods like Crawfish Monica, Cochon de Lait po-boys, fried green

tomatoes, mufuletta, jambalaya and pheasant, quail and andouille gumbo will make your mouth water. Whether you’re going for a day or the entirety of both weekends, The Maroon has you covered with what to bring, who to see, where to eat and the tips you can’t miss from seasoned Jazz Fest attendees. Jazz Fest brings together the best of New Orleans’s food, music and culture for this double weekend extravaganza.

Our Experts:

  • Mark Fernandez: Professor of History and 21 year Jazz Fest attendee
  • Jillian Schott: Marketing senior and four year Jazz Fest attendee
  • Catherine Pugh: Psychology sophomore two year Jazz Fest attendee

What shows to catch:

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is famous for its signature jazz performances, but this year the event features genres from across the board. A Jazz Fest official weighed in on acts not to miss. Jazz Fest will be the first stop of the U.S. tour dates for French alternative rock band Phoenix, promoting their seventh album “Bankrupt!” Phoenix will play the second weekend of the fest on Saturday, May 4, at 5:30 p.m. Headliner and pop rock group Maroon 5 have also worked up some hype and will perform for the first time at Jazz Fest on Friday, May 3, at 5:20 p.m. Our expert also recommends checking out headliners Fleetwood Mac on Saturday, May 4, at 5:10 p.m. The band will be celebrating the 35th anniversary of their highly successful 1977 album “Rumours.” Songs from the album include hits such as “Gold Dust Woman,” “The Chain” and “Dreams.” Last but certainly not least, our expert suggests stopping by New Orleans’s Rebirth Brass Band on Saturday, April 27, at 3:40 p.m.

What bites to eat:

At Jazz Fest, the only thing that rivals the music is the food. Festival goers can enjoy a rich variety of cuisines, including cajun, creole, African, carribean and much more. Across the board, our experts suggested the Crawfish Monica from Kajun Kettle Foods. This crawfish pasta dish was created by Louisiana chef Pierre Hilzim and remains a fest favorite year after year. Our Jazz Fest expert, history Professor Mark Fernandez, called the pheasant, quail and andouille gumbo from Lafayette’s Preajans restaurant “hot as blazes, but too good to pass up!” Po-boys are also a hot commodity at Jazz Fest, and our experts recommend trying a cochon de lait po-boy from catering company Love at First Bite and a fried soft shell crab po-boy from Metairie’s Galley Seafood restaurant. For refreshments our Jazz Fest expert Jill Schott, marketing senior, recommends the Strawberry Lemonade from New Orleans’s Cafe Reconcile. Always remember to drink lots of water, as the May heat can cause dehydration.

What to bring:

  1. SUNSCREEN With festival season comes high temperatures and the blazing sun, so make sure to protect yourself by wearing the SPF sunscreen. Don’t forget to reapply!
  2. CASH Food and drink booths at the festival are cash only, so make sure to bring enough to get you through the day.
  4. Long hours of standing can be tiring, so keep your feet happy by bringing a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.
  5. CHARGED PHONE Jazz Fest draws thousands of festival goers from all over the world, so be sure to bring a charged phone so you don’t get separated from your friends.

What to wear:

  1. COMFORTABLE SHOES Jazz Fest is held at the expansive Fair Grounds Race Course, so you will be doing a lot of walking from stage to stage. Make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes that you don’t mind roughing up.
  2. SUNDRESSES Ladies, this one’s for you. Our experts recommend wearing “light everything,” and sundresses are a perfect choice for the sweltering hot summer days.
  3. BRIMMED HATS Once again, it’s always a good idea to protect your face from the beating hot sun. A brimmed sun hat can help to avoid a sunburn and keep you cooled down.
  4. SUNGLASSES Keep your eyes protected from the sun as you enjoy the music by keeping a pair of shades on hand.

Tips & Tricks:

  1. Go to the Grandstands Artist interviews in the grandstands give you an intimate experience with some of your favorite Jazz Fest artists and performers. Professor Fernandez highly recommends going. “The interviews are always conducted by knowledgeable people and the artists are forthcoming. It’s so interesting to hear them talk about their careers. Sometimes they’ll even perform a little bit in a very intimate setting,” Fernandez said. Bonus! It’s air conditioned.
  2. Pre-Purchase Tickets Pre-purchasing your tickets online can save you time, money and stress. Buying your ticket online will cost you $50, while waiting until the last minute and purchasing at the gate will be $65. So, buy and print your tickets before getting to City Park and save $15.
  3. Jazz Fest Express For $18, the air-conditioned Jazz Fest Express shuttles you in and out of the fair grounds. The Jazz Fest Express will pick riders up at the Steamboat Natchez Dock at Toulouse Street or the Sheraton Hotel at 500 Canal St. Shuttle and festival admission tickets will be on sale at the shuttle departure locations beginning at 9:30 a.m. on the festival days. All shuttles begin operating at 10:30 a.m.
  4. Stay Hydrated With temperatures rising into the 80s this weekend, be sure to drink plenty of cold water. With a long day ahead of you, staying hydrated will be important to surviving Jazz Fest. All of our experts agree, it’s worth getting weighed down a little bit and packing a few extra waters to beat the heat.

Melanie Potter can be reached at [email protected]

Olivia Lueckemeyer can be reached at [email protected]


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