One month out, New Orleans Jazz Fest begins preparations for 2024 event

March 28, 2024 1:53 pm

[Source: AP]

The Fair Grounds Race Course, which plays host to the 2024 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, begins its annual transformation in earnest Tuesday as organizers prepare to take over the field this spring for two weekends of music, food and fun.

“Jazz Fest is back starting today!,” exclaimed festival producer Quint Davis during its one-month-before news conference inside the Fair Grounds’ clubhouse.

The festival’s first weekend runs Thursday, April 25 through Sunday, April 28; the second weekend is Thursday, May 2 through Sunday, May 5.

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“This will be the biggest Jazz Fest ever, with the most food ever, the most crafts ever and the most bands ever to come together in our 53-year history,” Davis said.

One of those bands — the Rolling Stones— is getting a lot of attention, he noted, smiling. Their May 2 performance is sold out, he added, still smiling.

“When the Rolling Stones come … I’ve been trying to say that forever. I guess the third times the charm,” Davis said amid laughter from the crowd.

In 2019, the band’s lead singer, Mick Jagger, was forced to cancel their scheduled appearance because of heart surgery. The 2021 festival, at which the Stones were to perform, was first pushed back to October before ultimately being canceled because of surging numbers brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This time,” Davis said, “they’re coming to play!”

Davis noted that the festival’s 2024 performance schedule is filled with all types of gems, from country megastar Chris Stapleton to rap artist Queen Latifah, and a bevy of talent in between. The stages and performance times for participating artists — known as the “cubes” — were released Tuesday on the festival’s website, nojazzfest.com

Jazz Fest, presented by the Shell energy company, celebrates the indigenous music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. The music encompasses nearly every style imaginable: blues, R&B, gospel, Cajun, Zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, folk, Latin, rock, rap, contemporary and traditional jazz, country, bluegrass and everything in between.