New Orleans for Jazz Fest

Old Sep 29th, 2009, 09:59 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,197
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
New Orleans for Jazz Fest

I have only been in New Orleans once in my life (I was a pre-teen) and my husband has never been. We had plans to visit (down to dinner reservations) and then Katrina struck shortly before we were due to go. So, we're planning to go this year for Jazz Fest. My question is, is it possible to do Jazz Fest and also do sightseeing on the same trip, same days. At the moment, we plan on arriving on a Wednesday night and departing Monday afternoon.
sf7307 is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2009, 10:10 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,804
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sf7307; I think so--you may find that you don't want to attend the actual Jazz Fest every day it's offered. For instance, you could sightsee on Thursday and maybe even Friday during the day, heading to the fest in the afternoon. It really depends, I think, on just how much time you want to spend at the fairgrounds. I went this past year and spent most of the weekend there but if we did it again we'd probably not spend quite as much time. Remember that some of the best music during Jazz Fest happens later at night after the fairgrounds have closed up for the day so if you research who's playing where it might make sense to sightsee and then catch later shows.
Katie_H is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2009, 10:18 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,197
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Katie. That's what I was hoping -- as much fun as I think the music itself will be, I can't really imagine spending 24 hours a day (kidding!) at the fairgrounds.
sf7307 is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2009, 11:23 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,125
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just went to Jazz Fest once, a couple of years ago. I actually had quite a different experience than Katie. I thought the best music was at the actual fairgrounds, we didn't go to see anything at other venues or in the evenings. We did actually spend most of the day at the fairgrounds for 3 days, Thursday-Saturday. There were so many different things to listen to, in all the different tents, there was constantly something going on that I wanted to hear. We would arrive around 10-11AM, and stay till the end of the day (I think it ended at 6 or 7PM, but I could be wrong). Then we would head back to the French quarter for dinner, and go back to our hotel. So I ended up doing very little sightseeing, except for a bit Sunday morning before we left.

So it may depend a bit on how eclectic your music taste is, and how into it you really are. I'm sure you CAN fit in some sightseeing, its all a matter of priorities.

I still haven't been back to NO, and I really want to go, so I can see more of the city.
china_cat is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2009, 07:37 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,804
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
China_cat---we basically did what you did (except missing Thursday); and saw shows at night late too. Admittedly burning the candle at both ends took it's toll on our return--I was exhausted the week we got back!

I'd agree it really depends on how into the music you are; I agree that there's plenty to keep you occupied (and full! my that food!) for the whole time.

Scoping out the schedule in advance helps too---but of course half the time your favorite acts I think end up being people you never heard of before just walking by at the fairgrounds. Still, if you want a dose of music post-fairgrounds at night there's so many places to go to hear some of the same people that play at the actual fest too. Some popular places I recommend--Maple Leaf Bar, Tipitina's, and the House of Blues. I thought the House of Blues would be cheesy but it actually was one of the best venues I've ever been to for sound quality.

Like chinacat says---it's really just about your priorities. I definitely hope to get back to Jazz Fest.

Looking forward to your follow up posts asking about where and what to eat...New Orleans does not disappoint in the food department! =)
Katie_H is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2009, 07:56 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,125
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh, I thought you were talking about some of the bigger shows that were scheduled at other venues. I seem to recall some big concerts that were done places outside the FQ, and these didn't interest me at all. I think we went to Tipitina's one night, but I admit, we were so tired after all day at the fest, and all that eating, I had no energy left for music in the evenings.

And I definitely agree...the best stuff we heard were things we hadn't planned for at all. Just random things we walked into at the fest. (with a few exceptions...like getting to hear Mary Chapin Carpenter do "Twist and Shout" with Beau Soleil backing her up )
china_cat is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2009, 08:42 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,197
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>

I heard the same thing from my friend's daughter. She said she never really saw any of the headliners. This happened to us last week at a Pete Seeger concert. Our favorite act was a local (San Francisco) band we had never heard of before - The Waybacks - and we'd go see (and pay to see) them again in a heartbeat!

As for food, I know all about the food scene (having eaten at Antoine's with my parents when I was 12 - I still remember what I had - Pompano en Papillote (sp?)). Yesterday, I found this list of ALL currently open New Orleans restaurants. Also, as I said we were supposed to have been in New Orleans just after what turned out to be the devastation of Katrina, so we had done our research. But yes, I'll be back (I do already have a hotel reservation, as I was able to use Marriott points and wanted to snag that before it disappeared).

http://www.nomenu.com/RestaurantsOpen.html
sf7307 is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2009, 01:37 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,091
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sf7307,

I think you'd find that going to Jazz Fest every day for four days to be quite exhausting. If you were a music fanatic and had been to New Orleans many times, I'd say why not just go to the festival each day. However, since you've only been to New Orleans once, and your husband has never, I'd probably say that you'd be missing out on seeing a lot of the city if you only went to Jazz Fest.

What I'd do is get the "Cubes", which will be available at www.nojazzfest.com around the February timeframe, and pick which bands you'd like to go to. Then, schedule to be at the Fairgrounds around those bands.

Generally what I do is plan to go the whole day Friday, as that is a quiet day yet still has great bands, and then only go on Saturday or Sunday if there is a great band you have to see, and then only go around an hour before the band (to make sure you don't miss the band) and then leave shortly thereafter.

With that schedule, you'll have plenty of time to do touring. What I'd suggest is a French Quarter walking tour (either the NPS walking tour for a historical preview or one of the "cocktail" walking tours would be fun) and also a walking tour of the Garden District. It will be in full bloom in April. I'd also plan a swamp tour or plantation tour as well.

For your itinerary, I'd say that for Thursday you should do the swamp tour or plantation home tour (it will be less crowded during the week so easy to get a spot on the tours), go to the Fest on Friday, and then plan the walking tours on Saturday and possibly go to the Fest Saturday evening and Sunday. Relax on Monday.

By the way, I prefer bands playing at the Fest than when they play at Tipitina's, etc... It's usually just so crowded at those other venues. Maybe take in one evening concert tour (Friday night) and then you can make a decision for the rest of your stay based on that.
bkluvsNola is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2009, 07:09 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,091
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sf7307,

You mentioned you booked your hotel. May I ask which hotel you will be staying at?
bkluvsNola is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2009, 07:33 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,197
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, at the moment we're planning to stay at the Renaissance Arts - it's a Marriott and I was able to get it for points!
sf7307 is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2009, 05:58 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,091
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sf7307,

That's a very nice hotel. I've stayed there before. It's real close to Emeril's restaurant and the Art Galleries on Julia St.
bkluvsNola is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2009, 07:02 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,197
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Glad to hear it, thanks!
sf7307 is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2009, 05:28 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with bkluvsnola. One good Friday of Jazz Fest is probably enough. It really is exhausting. There's so much to see in NOLA, I wouldn't give it up to spend the whole time at JF, especially on my first trip.

You'll have a blast!!
shoegal1032 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
allyboy
United States
23
Jan 16th, 2013 07:36 PM
cindyma
United States
13
Feb 24th, 2005 03:52 PM
SusanInToronto
United States
7
Jul 25th, 2004 09:01 AM
allyboy
United States
7
Dec 27th, 2003 05:16 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:05 PM.