The French Quarter Festival returns after a two-year break at COVID

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Two years have passed since the largest free festival and demonstration of music, food and culture in Louisiana took place in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

But that changes in April, when the 2022 French Quarter Festival returns. The coronavirus pandemic has forced organizers to cancel the event in 2020 and last year.

“We’ve worked and waited patiently, and now the countdown to our 2022 Spring Festival has officially begun,” said Emily Madera, president and CEO of French Quarter Festivals, Inc., a nonprofit event organization. “We are returning with more than 1,800 local musicians, more than 50 chefs and restaurants, new interactive fans and evening programs across the city. FQFI is proud to begin the New Orleans Festival season with a truly authentic celebration, and we invite everyone to join us for an unforgettable four days. ”

Thousands of people are expected to fill the French Quarter, from the Old U.S. Mint to Waldenberg Park along the Mississippi Quay to hear more than 260 artists perform on 20 festival stages from April 21-24. The event will kick off three weeks of music in a row as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is set to begin over the next two weekends at the Fair Grounds racetrack.

Singer Tarion’s “Tank” Ball was on hand to help announce the spring revival of the festival, according to The Times Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate.

“I like food, I love people, I like that it’s open and free,” Ball said, beaming. “We’re excited to be back.”

Ball of the Grammy-nominated Tank and the Bangas joins the list of artists planning to perform, including Irma Thomas, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Walter “Walkman” Washington, Soul Rebels, John Cleary and Gentlemen Absolute Monster, Amanda Shaw , Chubby Carrier, Little Freddie King, John Booth, Jeremy Davenport and singer and songwriter Ricky Lee Jones, who is debuting at the festival.

Other artists performing for the first time include Loose Cattle, the band Americana led by actor, Tony Award winner, and New Orleans part-time resident Michael Service; the Lily Lewis project; Da Truth Brass Band; Gumbeaux juice; Electric Yat Quartet; Notel Motel and percussionist of Cuban descent Alexei Marty.

Music will be played daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The full schedule is due in late March.

Admission is free, but VIP packages are available for $ 129 per day or $ 399 for a four-day weekend.

More than 50 local restaurants will provide festival stalls.

In 2020 and 2021, the French Quarter Festival, like the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, moved its regular spring festival to the fall in hopes that the level of COVID infection will decline. Also, like Jazz Fest, the French Quarter Fest eventually canceled its fall dates.

But about 1,500 musicians and contracts for last year’s festival still received partial payment. These payments were funded by a donation of $ 150,000 from Chevron, the main sponsor of the French Quarter Festival. Jazz Fest also paid the musicians a percentage of their initial fee last year.

The acts, which were to be played in 2020 and 2021, were given “first priority” when this year’s French Quarter festival was booked, Madera said.

Source link