New Orleans second largest event—just behind Mardi Gras—starts today.
On Thursday, April 6, the French Quarter will host its 34th annual French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron. Taking place throughout the French Quarter neighborhoods, organizers will erect 20 stages while local business owners will set up hundreds of vendors booths throughout the neighborhood. Over 1,700 artist are expected to perform at this year’s event. The event is free and is open to the public.
Three decades ago, the French Quarter festival was a local neighborhood event that celebrated Louisianan music, food, and culture. At this year’s festival, organizers expect over 760,000 people to attend.
Musical stages include Jackson Square Stage, located at Jackson Square; The Abita Beer Stage, Tropical Isle Hand Grenade Stage, and the GE Digital Big River Stage, which are all located at Woldenberg Riverfront Park. And the Jack Daniel’s Stage, which will be located at 600 Decatur Street this year.
Several other stages will be accessible at the French Market, Louisiana State Museum Old U.S. Mint, 225 Decatur Street, the 300, 600 and 700 blocks of Bourbon Street; the 400, 500, 700 and 1000 blocks of Royal Street; The 600 block and 726 St. Peter Street; 1116 Chartres Street and the Natchez Wharf at Toulouse.
For a list of stages, artists, and showtimes, click here.
Throughout April 6-9, there will be heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic throughout the French Quarter. The annual Festival begins at 11 a.m. and ends as late as 12 a.m.
Throughout all four days, vehicular traffic will be restricted between Iberille and Dumaine Streets when there is heavy pedestrian traffic.
On Saturday, April 8 and Sunday, April 9, from 1:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., French Quarter closures include Canal Street to Dumaine Street and Rampart Street to the Mississippi River. These streets will still be accessible for hire vehicles. Additional street closures may take place depending on the degree of pedestrian traffic.
How to get there
As always, walking and biking is always your best bet to attend these events. If you plan on taking the street car, or public bus, follow NORTA for route detours.
On street parking tips
If you choose to drive, monitor for blocking hydrants, driveways and sidewalks, or parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk, intersection or stop signs.