Matt Perrine wore gloves this morning as he played “Second Line” accompanied by Washboard Chaz in front of the statue of Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square. They, along with Ingrid Lucia, opened today’s press conference for the French Quarter Festival, which began when Executive Director Marci Schramm announced that we’re 44 days from the festival, which takes place April 9-11 on 18 stages scattered around the Vieux Carre.
The biggest change this year is that the festival has a title sponsor for the first time; now it is the French Quarter Festival presented by Capital One Bank. Though the festival remains free, it will sell memberships as part of the “Fest Family of New Orleans” program. Those will give members inside information and special bonuses. This year, BMI is sponsoring a songwriters stage, and it will be housed in the Historic New Orleans Collection. The classical music stage that was there last year will move to Le Petit Theatre.
The “Louis-Louis Pavilion Stage” returns this year, once again honoring Louis Armstrong and Louis Prima, who’ll be recognized this year on the 100th anniversary of his birth. WWOZ will broadcast live from that stage and others throughout the festival. For the first time, attendees will be able to get up-to-date festival information through a French Quarter Festival iPhone app.
The press conference also included the unveiling of the festival poster and a partial list of festival performers. You can see the talent here.