Aw, shucks: Central City Oyster Jam returns this weekend

On January 20, the Central City Oyster Jam will host a festival celebrating the region’s food and music. With performances from  Raw Oyster Cult (featuring four original members of The Radiators-Dave Malone, Camile Baudoin, Frank Bua and Reggie Scanlon, plus the addition of Michael Burkart),  Louis Michot, The Iceman Special and Motel Radio, the festival will place as much focus on music as oysters. But, let’s face it…it’s called Oyster Jam for a reason. spoke with three of the folks responsible for the event; Marc Bonifacic (co-owner of Central City BBQ) and Trevor Brooks (owner of Sentre Sound and handling all production)

Central City BBQ hosts a ton of events. Is there anything in particular about the Oyster Jam that you’re looking forward to hosting?

Marc B: I love the fact that we are celebrating oyster season. After the holidays, some lighter food options are wonderful. I am also excited to have Raw Oyster Cult playing at Central City BBQ for the first time.

What’s the secret to the perfect oyster, in your opinion?

Marc B: A Louisiana oyster of course!! But, I really think an oyster has to be raised in a bed with a high salinity level for it to be perfect.

How long have you been involved with Central City BBQ, and how would you say it contributes to the fabric of New Orleans?

Marc B: I started working on CCBBQ project in early 2016 when we purchased the property. I think having a live outdoor music facility and festival grounds for smaller events is something New Orleans was missing. Based on the growth of the festivals, we seem to be filling a niche.

From a production standpoint, what are some of the unique and/or interesting aspects of putting on something like Central City Oyster Jam?

Trevor B: Sentre Sound is really excited because the Oyster Jam will be the first event held on the newly completed outdoor stage at CCBBQ.  Marc has put a lot of effort into creating one of the best event and concert spaces in the city, and the addition of this versatile stage structure is going to allow for regional and national bands to play there, as well.
In your line of work, what is the true marker of a successful event?

Trevor B: I think the ultimate goal is to have happy audiences who enjoy themselves and want to come back for more, but from a production perspective, that begins with happy musicians.  If the performers on stage are comfortable and don’t have to waste energy worrying about sound quality, it frees them up to perform at their best, which the audience can really feel.

The Oyster Jam takes place at Central City BBQ (1201 S. Rampart St.). From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. “mollusks and music” will combine. Plus, there will be an airing of the NFL Conference Championship Game.

 Tickets will be available as both General Admission and VIP. Click here for more information about ticket details and to purchase tickets.