French Quarter Festival Estimates More Than 550,000 Attendees

This afternoon, the French Quarter Festival announced that approximately 574,000 people attended the four-day festival, which this year included an expanded “Lagniappe Thursday.” This ritual of releasing the festival’s attendance estimates has always been an odd one because to anyone who attends the festival, two things are clear: 1) That it’s exceedingly unlikely that there is a legitimate method for determining an attendance figure with any accuracy, and 2) That there are so many people at the festival that it is an unquestionable success, regardless of the number.

 

The crowd looks about right.

The number’s up from last year’s estimated 533,000 people, but no matter what the figure, there were people everywhere, from a family tailgating in front of the ferry entrance to people hanging out on Elysian Fields. Decatur Street was a pedestrian mall and the Moon Walk was a test of patience. Businesses that need hard numbers to rationalize sponsoring the festival place too much belief in the stability of numbers and miss the big picture—that a broad cross-section of the city’s population passed through the Quarter this weekend and were exposed to the sponsors. The festival was certainly a musical success, and it’s hard to imagine a measure whereby it wasn’t a business success.

  • Red552mimi

    there was so much good food out there, but I made it a point to buy 3/4 of my food from the booths flying the “music sponsor” sign- and to tell them that- the musicians need to be paid and I am thankful that has started to happen

  • Mfox45

    We had an incredible time over the 4 day festival! It was definitely worth coming from Virginia and we’ll be back next year! We volunteered on Thursday to get our bearings and give some of our time to this amazing City.  We are planning on coming back before the festival next year just to take some time to actually do the tourist bit in the greater NOLA area.

  • Mfox45

    We had an incredible time over the 4 day festival! It was definitely worth coming from Virginia and we’ll be back next year! We volunteered on Thursday to get our bearings and give some of our time to this amazing City.  We are planning on coming back before the festival next year just to take some time to actually do the tourist bit in the greater NOLA area.