HOW TO EXPERIENCE THE NEW ORLEANS JAZZ AND HERITAGE FESTIVAL LIKE A PRO: TRANSPORTATION, STAYING COOL, AND TOP TIPS
There’s nothing quite like dancing around at the Fais Do Do stage, Mango Freeze in hand, with warm sunshine aglow. For two weeks of spring every year, visitors and locals indulge in the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Unsurprisingly, first-timers get caught up in the laudable energy of the festival and overlook the most important logistics. From studying the cubes to learning the best spots to cool off, festivalgoers can plan the ultimate Jazz Fest 2023 experience.
As for most festivals, early arrival is key to avoiding long lines. Jazz Fest’s food, beverage, and merchandise lines are the shortest in the morning. Attendees can ensure early arrival by coordinating transportation to the festival efficiently.
Locals and seasoned festivalgoers claim that biking, while not the quickest, is the most efficient method of transportation to Jazz Fest. Bikers can easily avoid vehicle traffic and high parking rates. The festival offers designated bike parking spaces at the Gentilly Pedestrian and the Sauvage Street Pedestrian festival entrances.
If bikes aren’t accessible, the second-best option is public transportation. RTA offers a three-day bus pass for just $9, and parking will be a non-issue. Attendees riding the bus get dropped off just a few blocks from the festival entrance. Arrival by bus is quick and easy, but departing from the fest will likely be crowded with a wait time for the next bus.
Rain or Shine
There is no guarantee of good weather in New Orleans, but rain or shine, the show must go on. Every year festivalgoers typically experience at least one rainy fest day. Those who come prepared will be puddle jumping with joy. Some items to bring for a rainy day include:
● Rain boots
● A rain poncho
● Waterproof bag for electronics and valuables
On the flip side, Jazz Fest attendees notoriously withstand extreme southern heat and humidity. The sun can wreak havoc, but the following tips will prevent sunburn and dehydration:
● Wear a big floppy hat
● Bring a hand-held fan
● Apply sunscreen multiple times throughout the day
● Drink plenty of water
● Enjoy the shaded Gospel and Blues tents
● Cool off in the air-conditioned Grandstands
Fashionable or Casual
The weather should play a significant role in all fashion decisions. A long skirt won’t get anyone very far if it’s raining, and white sneakers won’t fare well if the grounds are muddy. Avoid black at all costs and focus on light fabrics and shorter bottoms. Comfortable shoes are a must.
Cash or Card
No one wants to waste valuable time in the ATM line at Jazz fest. Most booths only take cash. Avoid ATM fees by stocking up on cash before arriving at the festival.
Chair or Blanket
Unlike many large-scale festivals, Jazz Fest is folding-chair friendly. It is not abnormal to see large groups set up camp at one of the larger stages. By noon the grounds are coated in tarps, chairs, ice chests, and dancing bare feet.
What are the Cubes
Jazz Fest organizes the lineup into a neat grid schedule the locals call “the cubes.” Festivalgoers can make the most of their time by studying the cubes and planning accordingly. Although Thursdays and Sundays are typically less crowded, Fridays and Saturdays are overcrowded — factor in more time to maneuver through the crowd on the busier days.
Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler
Don’t stress too much, and let the good times roll. Kick off those shoes, soak up the sunshine, and dance the day away. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is more than another place to party. It’s a gathering to honor the Big Easy’s resilience.
Stay at Hotel Mazarin
One of the best ways to experience the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is by staying at a hotel in the middle of it all. Hotel Mazarin is ideally situated in the heart of the French Quarter. Make a reservation at Hotel Mazarin today.