50 Glorious Years

To celebrate 50 glorious years of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2019, festival promoters have added a second Thursday, making the upcoming festival an eight-day event.

Thursday, April 25 will be the opening day of the 2019 Jazz Fest presented by Shell. The new day will be a “Locals Thursday” and anyone with a valid Louisiana ID will able to buy up to two tickets for that day at a cost of $50 each. Tickets must be purchased at the gate on that day.

The second Thursday, May 2, is rumored to be a day that will have some incredible music that’s not usually seen at Jazz Fest. There’s a rumor circulating on the street that The Rolling Stones will kick off the second weekend of the 50th Anniversary of the beloved festival.

Whether the Stones rumor is true or not remains to be seen, but we certainly expect that the second Thursday will be an extra-special day, performance-wise, and I certainly expect some big-name acts to be announced (Who would you like to see—and more importantly—pay a premium ticket price for on May 2?). The actual line-up on that Thursday has been kept very quiet, and will be announced in December, with the rest of the Fest’s schedule, about a month earlier than the Jazz Fest schedule is typically released. Gotta build up that anticipation!

I also expect that there will be a premium admittance fee that Thursday, especially since we learned that the WWOZ Brass Passes will not be honored on that day, which has caused a fair bit of consternation amongst those who have already purchased Brass Passes for the 2019 Jazz Fest. WWOZ certainly isn’t to blame for this; they are subject to whatever the festival producers have arranged.

With the Festival’s shift since Hurricane Katrina to many more stadium-filling acts (due to the involvement of AEG promoters), I would imagine names like Elton John (nope, on European tour at the time, and passing through NOLA before Festival). How about Bruce Springsteen? Dave Matthews Band? Paul Simon (nope, he’s retired). Bonnie Raitt (possibly, as she loves New Orleans and Jazz Fest)? Beyoncé? U2? Bob Dylan? Van Morrison? Bruno Mars? Spice Girls Reunion? Taylor Swift? Roger Waters? Cardi B? Maroon 5? Harry Styles? Who would you pay, say, $100-$200 extra to see? Speculation runs rampant.

Or would you rather see a more New Orleans- and Louisiana-centric lineup?