The 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival:
An “Easy D” Perspective: The Prologue
(2nd Weekend: April 28, 2010 – May 4, 2010)
This series of articles will recap my experiences and the experiences of my ‘Krewe’ in New Orleans for the 2nd weekend of the 41st annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. I arrived for my visit in the evening on Wednesday, April 28 and left on the morning of Tuesday, May 4. My recap will focus on the music I saw and listened to, but I will also describe some of the magic that is the City of New Orleans: the food, the people, the tourists, and the places.
When talking about my Krewe, I will not refer to them by name because ‘what happens in New Orleans, stays in New Orleans’. Unlike yours truly, the rest of my Krewe currently have jobs. All of us, including me, have families. You will have to believe me when I say that as a group, we were reasonably well behaved, but had a tremendous amount of fun with just the right amount of partying. No one went to the hospital; no one got arrested. A splendid time was had by all.
I planned to take a note pad wherever I went so that I could recall my activities during the weekend. As soon as I arrived, I realized that this plan did not make any sense. There is so much going on all of the time that I would surely miss something while writing on the fly. You will have to depend on my memory, which I am happy to report is usually quite good. You will not notice if I forget some things.
The 2nd weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is held at the Fairgrounds Racetrack from 11:00 AM until 7:00 PM from Thursday through Sunday. There are 12 stages with music running simultaneously all day. It is often quite a challenge to decide who to go see perform. To get an idea of the schedule, go to www.nojazzfest.com and click on ‘music schedule’ where you can review ‘the cubes’ listing the acts performing at the stages on a given day.
Some of the stages are in tents (Blues, Gospel, Jazz, etc). The rest of the stages (Acura, Gentilly, Congo, Fais Do Do, Jazz & Heritage, etc) are outdoors. If the weather is decent, I prefer to go to the outdoor stages. Some of my favorite artists have performed in the tents over the years, but if the sun is shining, I’ll often bypass a favorite in favor of an act outdoors. Also, I enjoy strolling between the stages and discovering great music that I never intended to see. Strolling between stages also affords the opportunity to stop at the food booths. The food at the Fairgrounds is excellent and relatively inexpensive. Many local favorites are featured including gumbo, jambalaya, po boys, many crawfish dishes, etc.
After a full day at the fairgrounds, it’s time to get back to the hotel, get a shower, perhaps a power nap, before partying again and going to a night club for even more music. Club shows generally run from 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM. Late night club shows generally run from 2:00 until dawn or even later. The vast majority of the music clubs are not on Bourbon Street. They are scattered about in various neighborhoods. A great source of club music listing is the ‘Nearly World Famous Jazzfest Grids’ at www.jazzfestgrids.com. That’s a lot of activity to attempt for several days in a row! So remember, there are no rules. It’s OK to take a day at the fairgrounds off or a club show evening off. With restaurants, shopping, Bourbon Street, etc., there are plenty of ways to relax in New Orleans. And remember kids, it’s a marathon, not a sprint!
~ Easy D ~