Embrace yourselves for yet another amazing lineup at for the 2014 Jazz and Heritage Festival! This two-weekend event will take place from April 25-27 and from May 1-4. The 45th annual event will feature big name acts such as Eric Clapton, Robin Thicke, Christina Aguilera, John Boutte, Cowboy Mouth, Paul Sanchez, Delbert McClinton, and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
WHAT: The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell has music on multiple stages, plus interviews, parades, kids' activities, food, crafts sales and demonstrations.
WHEN: April 25-27, May 1-4; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
WHERE: Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, 1751 Gentilly Blvd.
ADMISSION: 2014 Jazz Fest Ticket information was released in conjunction with the 2014 talent announcement on Jan 14, and, as usual, early bird purchasers get a discount.
Advanced purchase 1st Weekend Single Day Tickets (April 25, 26 & 27): $50 through Jan. 31; $55 (Feb. 1 through Thursday, April 24).
Advanced purchase 2nd Weekend Single Day Tickets (May 1, 2, 3 & 4): $50 through Jan. 31; $55 (Feb. 1 through Wednesday, April 30).
Single day tickets purchased at the gate are $70. Children's ticket: $5, available at the gate only, ages 2 - 10, and adult must be present with child.
Tickets will be available at nojazzfest.com and ticketmaster.com, at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 800.745.3000. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Jazz Fest ticket office located at the New Orleans Arena box office. All Jazz Fest tickets are subject to additional service fees and handling charges.
HOTELS and TRAVEL: Jazz Fest 2014 has secured preferred rates for visitors at a number of New Orleans hotels and maintains a list on its website. The festival is popular, so making early reservations for travel and hotels is recommended. The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau is a useful resource for travelers and can be reached at 800.672.6124 or 504.566.5003 or online at neworleanscvb.com.
DINING: Jazz Fest is legendary for the range and quality of the food served on the Fair Grounds, and visitors can expect most of the top vendors from 2013 to return. Still, for many travelers, a trip to New Orleans is not complete without some serious restaurant dining. Even if you are an annual visitor, the changes on the New Orleans restaurant scene may surprise you. Brennan's is no more. Galatoire's has added a steak house. You won't find "Miss Dot" behind the counter at Domilese's. And, of course, there are many new places, such as Mariza, that have opened in outlying neighborhoods. For complete details and reviews visit our staff-compiled restaurant guide. This is one area where advanced planning pays big dividends, since popular restaurants fill early.
SECURITY: All bags will be searched; vehicles are subject to search. Oversized vehicles such as RVs and buses will not be allowed to unload passengers in front of the festival gates. Bags and backpacks can be no larger than 17 inches by 12 inches by 10 inches. (More details below).
PARKING & SHUTTLES: No public parking onsite, except for a limited number of spaces for those with disabilities and for those with advanced purchase VIP ticket packages. Handicapped-accessible parking is limited, but available at the Gentilly Boulevard lot and costs $50 a day. A handicap license plate or placard, or other state-issued identification, is required. For information about other services for people with disabilities, call 504.410.6104, email email@example.com or visit the disabilities page on the Jazz Fest site. Call Jazz Fest Express in advance to make arrangements for the wheelchair-accessible shuttle bus: 504.569.1401 or 800.233.2628. Shuttle tickets are $18 from downtown and $14 from City Park, where parking is included.
Bicycle parking is at the Gentilly Boulevard and Sauvage Street pedestrian gates.
Gray Line Tours will operate Jazz Fest Express, offering continuous round-trip transportation daily from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. from the Sheraton Hotel, 500 Canal St., downtown; Steamboat Natchez dock (Toulouse Street at the Mississippi River); and City Park (next to Marconi Meadow). The round-trip shuttle costs $18 ($14 from City Park). A one-way ticket from the festival to downtown is $10. Admission and Jazz Fest Express day-of tickets are available for sale from these locations or through Ticketmaster. Free parking is available at City Park only with round-trip shuttle tickets. Those with disabilities or with general questions should call 504.569.1401 or 800.535.7786, or visit graylineneworleans.com.
Obey all parking regulations. Remember: Parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk, intersection or stop sign in residential neighborhoods is prohibited. Motorists also are reminded to park in the direction of travel on one-way streets, and with the right wheel to the curb on two-way streets. For those parking in driveways, please note that blocking sidewalks is prohibited.
Car towed? Call the Parking Violations Bureau auto pound at 504.565.7450.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: The Regional Transit Authority will provide regular service during Jazz Fest. Board the Esplanade bus at Canal and Rampart streets and ride to Grand Route St. John; or board the City Park/Museum streetcar at any stop along Canal Street between the river and Carrollton Avenue, and ride to the end of the line at Beauregard Circle (North Carrollton Avenue at Esplanade Avenue); or get on the streetcar at the Canal Street cemeteries, transfer to the City Park/Museum line at Carrollton and ride to Beauregard Circle. Then walk from Beauregard Circle to the nearest Fair Grounds entrance (at Sauvage and Fortin streets) is about eight blocks. (The regular fare is $1.25 per person, 40 cents for seniors with ID. Also, one-day Jazzy Passes are $3; three-day passes are $9.) For details, visit norta.com.
DISABILITIES: For information, call 504.410.6104, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There are wheelchair spaces available at all tents and at the three main stages as well as wheelchair-accessible portable toilets. Wheelchairs and medical scooters are permitted. The Paralyzed Veterans of America operate a booth, inside the Gentilly Pedestrian Gate, where conventional wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis. See parking for more details.
JAZZ FEST 2014 SECURITY:
Jazz Fest works with law enforcement agencies -- local, state and federal -- to assess any security concerns. The comprehensive security plan is reevaluated and adjusted annually.
As in the past, Jazz Fest 2014 security measures will feature bag searches and limitations on the sizes of some carry-in items. (See the "DON'TS" list below). There will also be random pat-downs and vehicle searches at all Festival gates.
DON'TS: Hard coolers; soft coolers larger than 12-pack size; beverages; wagons or pull carts; large chairs with rockers, foot rests, side tables, etc.; weapons; pets; glass; illicit drugs; tents; metal poles; beach or pole-style umbrellas; canopies or other shelters; inflatable items; athletic games and wheeled personal transport devices, including bicycles, Segways, skateboards and go-peds. No audio or video recording equipment. No vending or solicitation. Other restrictions apply. (For example, reserving tarp space larger than 6 feet by 8 feet is prohibited anywhere on the Fair Grounds. Inserting stakes or poles in the ground, or using ropes to reserve space is forbidden).
DO'S: Push strollers for children; wheelchairs/medical scooters; single collapsible chairs; soft coolers (12-pack size or smaller); ground tarps smaller than 6 feet by 8 feet; factory-sealed water for personal consumption; small bags and backpacks (17 inches by 12 inches by 10 inches); handheld, personal-sized umbrellas.
INFORMATION: Call 504.410.4100, or visit nola.com/jazzfest or nojazzfest.com.
Do you have your own Jazz Fest tips? Tell us about them at www.travelingdiva.com. Here's one from a resident who lives near the Fairgrounds: If you park nearby, write the address on your wrist. Those tangled streets look a lot different after dark. I always end up helping lost Fest goers.
Go beyond the big names. Check out acts that you've never seen. The crowds are smaller and you may find a new favorite.
To see the list of performances, go to http://lineup.nojazzfest.com.