Not for nothing, but why the hell were fighter jets passing above the Fest grounds and rudely intruding on Jon Cleary’s set on Friday, April 27? It was utterly disrespectful, in terrible taste, and its intent clearly to militarize one of the most peaceful yearly events in our country, Jazz Fest.
The U.S. military should be chastised for such actions—another waste of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars.
On a most positive note, however, getting a copy of OffBeat is my first order of business when I arrive at Louis Armstrong Airport. Your articles help navigate me toward artists I wouldn’t ordinarily choose to see—helping to broaden my cultural horizons. Because of OffBeat there are so many more acts I’ve grown to enjoy and appreciate.
—Russ Layne, Chester, New York
I hope this snarky attempt at humor doesn’t become a regular feature. Instead of dividing Fest-goers into types based on superficial appearances, and presumptuously offering advice, how about focusing on what we have in common: We return year after year, braving heat, crowds and mud, because the music takes us someplace we need to go.
Let’s try to be a little less judgmental, and let everyone enjoy Jazz Fest in their own way!
—Leah Gold, Healdsburg, California
I have been every year to Jazz Fest for the past 30 years. I am a walking, talking, praising supporter and cheerleader for our magical Jazz Fest. I tell tourists and locals that if I had to pick one reason, one thing, to love about this town out of a wealth of great events and things it would be Jazz Fest. I literally tear up when I walk past Sauvage Street (I live near the Holy Land—Jazz Fest) prior to the Fest and see that first scaffolding go up—it’s like peeking into magic. So it is with a heavy heart that for my first time in 30 years I felt a nagging irritation for those seven days I attended. Why? Because there was virtually no accessible recycling. Sure Shell got to green-wash and PR themselves with one or perhaps more small stations where you could recycle the plastic #2 bottles, but no plastic ice tea cups, of which there are thousands—not sure aluminum cans were allowed, maybe. My friend and I sit in the OZ Tent and that was when I noticed no more recycle bins (previous years they had several) and from there I walked about the grounds and tents and I found none other than the in-field Shell spot(s). My friend is one of many that could not walk that far due to a knee injury, others in wheel chairs or walkers were disappointed too at the lack of accessibility.
I called WWOZ, the Jazz and Heritage Foundation and Shell before weekend two, but either no knowledge of this situation or real concern. Perhaps OffBeat might direct me to someone else to reach out to before next year so our City and our wonderful Jazz Fest can be more environmentally involved and also not embarrass our City in front of all the visitors who attend.
—Debbie Lindsey, New Orleans, Louisiana
OffBeat welcomes letters from its readers—both comments and criticisms. To be considered for publication, all letters must be signed and contain the current address and phone number of the writer. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for length or content deemed objectionable to OffBeat readers. Please send letters to Editor, OffBeat Publications, 421 Frenchmen St., Suite 200, New Orleans, LA 70116.