French Quarter Fest 2015. Photo: Stephen Maloney

French Quarter Fest 2018 Announces Special Events And More

Next month, French Quarter Festival 2018 will showcase the magic of 1,700 musicians, both world-renowned and locally revered. As its 35th birthday season gets underway following the announcement of its lineup, the Fest today (March 15) shares details of the finishing touches for the 2018 installment, including a series of special events focusing on the tricentennial and more.

French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI) is introducing the Ernie’s Schoolhouse Stage in an effort to honor the city’s cultural heritage by “investing in the future.” On that stage, young artists will be given the opportunity to perform at French Quarter Fest while “gaining business and marketing skills to support their musical careers,” according to a FQFI press release. Selected artists will then participate in a workshop presented by the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation, a special showcase which takes place a month before April’s Fest and culminates in a weekend of performances at Homer Plessey Community Shool’s stage, at Royal and St. Philip streets.

Returning this year but with updated contributors is Let Them Talk, Presented by Jones Walker, the annual lecture series featuring musicians of Louisiana and curated by Fred Kasten. Hosted by the New Orleans Jazz Museum, this year’s series will feature a Fats Domino tribute moderated by Scott Billington with author Rick Coleman, saxophonist Roger Lewis, and Mr. Domino’s longtime friend, Ms. Haydee Ellis. Zachary Richard, Gregory Davis of Dirty Dozen, Linnzi Zaorski, Richard Scott, Josh Paxton, Gal Holiday, Jee Yeoun Ko, Christien Bold, Evan Christopher, Johnny Sansone and Darcy Malone will also be included.

Film and television buffs will be treated to the FQF Film Fest with Cinema on the Bayou, presented by NCIS: New Orleans. Founded by prize-winning Lafayette filmmaker pat Mire, the series is hosted this year by  Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré and will showcase films including  Dance for a Chicken: The Cajun Mardi Gras, Le Voisinage,  Zachary Richard Cajun Heart and more.

For the kids, Family Fun at French Quarter Festival will offer an opportunity to be safely rambunctious at the Natchez Wharf. Notable features this year include “building” a historic home to learn about architecture. And, of course, there will be plenty of food for kids and adults alike.

For more information, full schedule and list of participating vendors and events, visit