All of sudden, and all at once, some massive changes are taking place in New Orleans’ music scene. Why this confluence of changes are happening now is a mystery, but here’s just a few of the radical changes we can look forward to…
- The city is getting ready to announce a major change to the planned Four Seasons Hotel development at the International Trade Center site. Instead of adding a tourist-slanted museum on the Mississippi River and New Orleans, the space allocated will be tripled to 75,000 square feet and will contain a world-class New Orleans music museum whose development will be funded by the city, Paul Allen, a major hedge fund management head and the Grammy organization.
- In response to the demand for music clubs and bars, the city has lifted the noise ordinance restrictions on “entertainment districts” and is now sanctioning new venues’ ability to present music in the French Quarter, Frenchmen Street, St. Claude Avenue, Freret Street and Oak Street, along with certain blocks of Canal Street.
- The moratorium on new music venues on North Rampart is also expected to be lifted at the end of 2016. Music on Congo Square again!
- After a spate of letters and emails sent to City Planning and the Health Department, any music venue that employs a band that plays covers on either Bourbon or Frenchmen Street must obtain and pay for a permit for any non-original music that’s played in the venue.
- All clubs that present music will soon have a loading zone only for musicians’ load-in. It will be required in a new ordinance.
- The WWOZ Governance Board has made long-time WWOz general manager David Freedman “Manager Emeritus” and has changed their bylaws to require that all DJs be a resident of New Orleans for at least five years. All deejays will have to pass a strict test of their music knowledge, and they will also now also be paid for their services on-air.
- The Jazz Fest is creating a new venue for national acts and returning to small local stages for the majority of the festival. Tickets at the Fairgrounds will be reduced to 1995 levels with a special discount for Louisiana residents.
- French Quarter Festival will expand to Armstrong Park with a new stage in 2017 in Congo Square and two new stages in Crescent Park on the river.
- Voodoo Fest will move to Audubon Park in 2018, and Buku Fest will move to Metairie’s Lafreniere Park.
Yeah, you right.