Displaced in New York nine years ago following Hurricane Katrina, Mid-City evacuee Jared Zeller, inspired by the Mardi Gras Indian’s Super Sunday tradition and the legacy of Bayou St. John, initially conceived the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo, a music, arts and culture festival celebrated on the bayou’s banks. But it was more than just the idea of putting on a festival that compelled Zeller to act on his vision; as he saw it, combining the locale’s rich history and present-day talents could serve as a catalyst to enrich and reinvigorate the community.
Upon returning, he founded the Mothership Foundation to carry out his mission and in May 2006 held the first Bayou Boogaloo, a free, one-day event featuring one music stage, an art market, food from a handful of local vendors. Proceeds from the were used to assist the Jeff Davis Play Sports project. Since, the festival has blossomed into one the city’s largest and most anticipated events. The eighth-annual Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo will take place this weekend (May 17-19) along Bayou St. John and feature more that 30 bands on three stages as well as an expansive artist market and food from some of the best spots in town.
Proceeds from the festival will be used to assist in restoring and replanting Oak trees crippled or lost as a result of the devastation cause by recent hurricanes and tropical storms. Headliners include the Rebirth Brass Band, Partners-N-Crime and Alvin Youngblood Hart. Tune in below for more on this year’s fest as well as to hear Zeller’s inspiring tale.