Festival Season Kicks Off Early

One thing I can say about the sports impacting New Orleans: we have hosted more major sports events than any other city in the US.  That means tourist dollars. Even now, in December 2011, the city’s tourism people are in a frenzy preparing for Superbowl XLVII, which is scheduled to be held in New Orleans again in February 2013 (this will be the tenth time the event will take place here).

This could put a crimp in our regular Mardi Gras season because Mardi Gras 2013 is set for February 12. Maybe we can just move Fat Tuesday up a week to accommodate the NFL and the massive fans that are expected for the Superbowl.  Should we move Mardi Gras weekend to accommodate Superbowl Sunday? Am curious to know what you think.

We now also have the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell schedule to contemplate, since it was released early this morning. The earlier you get the word out, the quicker fest-goers can make their festival attendance plans by booking rooms and making their airline reservations. We used to get the Jazz Fest schedule in mid-to-late February. Now we get it before Christmas. So festival season is officially underway.

The Foo Fighters: one of this year's Jazz Fest headliners

Aah, I remember the good ole days at the WWL-RayBan stage (now controlled by Acura), when I could still hang out and enjoy the music. Those days are long gone; I’m not fighting crowds to see the Foo Fighters or the Eagles. I’m still in the Bonnie Raitt fan crowd, and since I haven’t experienced a Bonnie show in a while, you might see me there.

Despite the usual grumblings from old school Jazz Fest fans, the lineup always looks pretty great to me. I understand how difficult it is to book a major festival that depends on ticket sales. Heads through the gates mean more money to support the festival and the ability to get more money from sponsors.

If you haven’t already, consider supporting a band for this year’s French Quarter Festival. They’ve made the effort to pay musicians in cash rather than allowing individual sponsors to foot the bill for the bands. I imagine if you want to sponsor a band that’s playing French Quarter Fest, you would certainly welcome the opportunity to not only pay the band, but to support FQF, which features only local music. Go here for info on how to sponsor a band.