New Orleans Event Is Always A Music Lover’s Bucket List Event
The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac and now Social Distortion.
That’s the descending order of bands that have been scheduled to play the 50th anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage – more commonly known as JazzFest – this year in New Orleans.
The Stones canceled when Mick Jagger needed a heart procedure and Fleetwood Mac did the same when Stevie Nicks got the flu. That left Social Distortion to be the headliner band on what was going to be the blockbuster day of Thursday, May 2 to kick off the event’s second weekend.
JazzFest 2024 is April 26- May 5.
But frankly, it doesn’t really matter which bands play at JazzFest, and which ones don’t for whatever reason. It’s still a great party. JazzFest in New Orleans is a music Bucket List event for anyone who likes festivals and having a good time.
I’ve been twice and am chomping at the bit to go again. My first JazzFest, I went to see Jimmy Buffett and while I loved that performance, there were two other acts that really stood out to me.
One was Elvin Bishop. I knew him only for the “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” song, but had no idea he was such an incredible blues guitarist. I sat on a sizzling hot green turf sweating under a steamy tent on a humid afternoon to hear him play his set. It was incredible and remains one of my Jazzfest musical highlights.
Another time, I went by to hear the Louisiana Hayride. I thought this sounded really redneck and, being from the South but now living in California, thought it would be good to have a chuckle and hear a few really country songs.
I called my dad because I thought the name sounded so funny and I was laughing but he straightened me out real quick. He grew up listening to the Grand ‘Ole Opry on radio and very bluntly explained to me the Louisiana Hayride was a radio show that was basically a farm club for the Opry; practically every big country music star of the day started at the Louisiana Hayride. Thusly informed, I sat down and really, really enjoyed their show.
One thing I did not mention to my dad was the party scene.
There are beer stations like none other I have ever seen; you buy beers by the can and can get a case if you want to, for you can take collapsable coolers and fill them up with brews. They even give you ice!
You plop down at a designated “home base” and talk to girls around you, walk around and talk to girls, go up to another stage and talk to girls, and well, you get the idea. All the time you and the girls are drinking cold beers out of your coolers, and that doesn’t stop until the last band on the last stage plays their last song.
And then you can even go hear those or other bands at live music venues or, more my style, go hit the bars on Bourbon Street.
So no Stones. no Fleetwood Mac? No problem.
Jazzfest in New Orleans is still a great party.