Living in New Orleans it is hard not to love music festivals. Not only does this city arguably have more experience with hosting music festivals than most, but the variety makes it enticing to almost every type of music lover.
French Quarter Festival is billed as the largest free music festival in the South, and for that reason one of my favorites. Free music festivals make it much easier to attend with my kids since it is easy to come and go as you please throughout the weekend.
The big spread out festivals such as French Quarter Fest offer staggered stages which allow for a quick chance to stretch your legs and a change of scenery for antsy kids, coverage of multiple musical genres to please everyone, and delicious food.
New Orleans music festivals, as most things in this city, are as much about the food as the music. Fine dining establishments along with po’ boy shops come out to feed the masses. Dishes are inexpensive plus the servings allow for sampling at least two items, more if you share! For me, great food and cocktails are a music festival must.
Festivals that Charge
There are popular large music festivals in New Orleans that do charge admission, and I enjoy these as well but definitely without the kids. If I am paying admission I want to stay the whole day to get my money’s worth of listening and eating. Kids, especially younger ones, cannot last all day at a festival especially in the New Orleans’ weather.
When a city offers so many free music festivals there are certain criteria that must be met in order to charge admission, according to me. I will pay for Jazz Fest, Voodoo, or another music festival if there are big name national acts that I do not get to see often. However, I also still like a good bit of local musicians mixed in because I love New Orleans music.
The large crowds can be overwhelming to some, but I use a few tricks to make it easier. I try to get to music festivals slightly early if possible. This helps with parking and is the perfect time to grab food before the lines are too long. Also, toddlers in strollers can feel overwhelmed when pushed through crowds so I tend to stick to the edges to make it more enjoyable for my whole group.
My husband and I love taking our kids out to festivals as often as possible because it is a great way to spend time as a family outdoors listening to music and celebrating our amazing city.