The Essential Guide to Jazz Fest – Episode #155

Happy Jazz Fest

In this episode we’re going all in on Jazz Fest, y’all!  We’ll explore the music, the food and the layout of the festival. I’ll give you the insider tips that come from nearly 30 years of attending.  You’ll know what to bring, what to expect, how to create your own JazzFest plan, and everything else you need. I’ll also help you with things to do once you leave the festival grounds.  And if for some crazy reason you can’t be here, we’ll help you enjoy a bit of Jazz Fest from wherever you are!

Officially, it’s called the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.  It’s a festival of music, food, and crafts held at the New Orleans Fairgrounds in the Gentilly neighborhood.  Jazz Fest takes place the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May.

Sponsor: Liz Wood Realty

The most frequent questions I get are about moving to New Orleans. If you are ready to make the move, you need a good realtor. That’s where Liz Wood comes in.

Let Liz and her team over at Liz Wood Realty help you find the right place. They can help whether you plan to rent or purchase

Liz makes the process fun and easy. Reach out to Liz at and make your dream of living in New Orleans a reality.

Sponsor: Tommy Manzella At Gulf Coast Mortgage.

While you are working with Liz you need to secure financing. Reach out to Tommy at Gulf Coast and let him help you get everything in place. That’s what we did on our recent refi and it was as smooth as could be. Links in the show notes. Tommy Manzella at Gulf Coast Bank

Sponsor: The Historic New Orleans Collection

Support comes from The Historic New Orleans Collection, the city’s premiere history museum, located at five twenty Royal Street in the heart of the French Quarter.

Their current exhibit, Making Mardi Gras runs through May 8, 2022. This show stopping display invites visitors into the sprawling dens, late-night sewing sessions, and sweaty dance rehearsals where “The Greatest Free Show on Earth” is created and re-created each year among the city’s diverse communities.

Explore the vibrant expression that only Carnival season can muster, as we meet up with 19th-century float artists, dawn-breaking skeleton gangs, and homebound house-float creators—stopping to admire costumes, royalty, and hand-painted coconuts.

This is the Mardi Gras that happens before we’re watching, the Carnival that will wind through the city on Fat Tuesday, far from the intemperate Bourbon Street scene. Catch it before it passes.

Go to to plan your trip.

Sponsor: Patreon

Today’s episode is sponsored by our Patreon Supporters.
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We have perks at all levels, and if you join at the $10 level or higher, we’ll mention you on an episode.

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Did you know I have a book coming out? The Beyond Bourbon Street Travel Guide to New Orleans. You can pre-order a copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or This is the single best way you can currently show your support for the podcast and for my work, so please consider pre-ordering your copy today.

Jazz Fest Toolkit Essentials

A key to enjoying the festival is knowing what to expect and what to bring with you.  Here’s what you need when you walk out the door each day to head to Jazz Fest.

  • Festival fairgrounds map
  • Jazz Fest Cubes- grid display of artists, by stage & time (available at Jazz Fest website closer to event)
  • Jazz Fest app
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Water
  • Cash
  • ID
  • Credit card

Optional Items:

  • small backpack
  • towel, sheet or bag chair
  • charger & cables for your phone
  • camera
  • rain poncho

What not to bring. The Jazz Fest website will be updated prior to the event so be sure to check it for a list of things you cannot bring to the festival.  For the most part, these are common sense (no drugs, alcohol or firearms), but there are some restrictions about the size of backpacks and tarps.  If this is your fist Fest, be sure to review this list so you are not surprised at the entrance.

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Thanks for listening!



New Orleans is so much more than the Bourbon Street scenes you may have seen–– it’s a 300-year-old city made up of vibrant neighborhoods, diverse populations, and traditions layered upon each other.
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