New Orleans’ 2020 festival season is about to get a whole lot busier. French Quarter Festival’s annual four-day event will move up its schedule by two weeks in 2020, putting it right behind the 51st New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and testing the limits of the city’s festival crowd capacity.
Next year’s French Quarter Fest will move from April 2-6 to April 16-19. Jazz Fest follows less than a week later on April 23 and runs through May 3. Lineups for both are likely to be announced early next year.
French Quarter Fest organizers estimate 825,000 people attended the festival in 2019, and despite the cancellation of headliners the Rolling Stones (and that of their replacement, Fleetwood Mac), Jazz Fest brought roughly 475,000 people to the Fairgrounds this year for its landmark 50th event.
French Quarter Fest organizers said the timing of the NCAA Women’s Final Four, which will be held in New Orleans April 2-5, prompted the schedule change. That leaves downtown New Orleans with only one week of rest in April 2020’s festival calendar.
Sprawling across several venues in the French Quarter, from Woldenberg Park to the New Orleans Jazz Museum, the annual festival had a record-breaking attendance earlier this year, well above that of an estimated 560,000 people in 2018, when the festival canceled a Saturday lineup due to rain. Roughly 700,000 people attended in 2017.
The festival also produces the Louis Armstrong-honoring Satchmo SummerFest, right around the corner on August 2-4 at the New Orleans Jazz Museum.