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What’s New The 31st Annual French Quarter Festival is April 10th-13th

February 8, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Planning is underway for the 31st Annual French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron.  The event will take place April 10th – April 13th, 2014.  

Locals and tourism officials call French Quarter Festival ‘the kickoff to festival season in New Orleans.’  What started as a neighborhood festival and “locals’ event” has grown into the largest free music festival in the United States: the 2013 French Quarter Festival hosted over 560,000 local and out-of-town visitors and had an economic impact of over $246 million.  In 2014, organizers will host some of New Orleans’ finest restaurants at ‘The World’s Largest Jazz Brunch’; employ over 1,400 world class, local musicians; and create special and unique experiences for festival-goers.

Dr. John’s first performance at French Quarter Festival since 1987

Sponsored by longtime Festival supporter, vendor, and friend – Tropical Isle

Dr. John embodies the best of New Orleans’ rich musical heritage, and in 2014, he returns to French Quarter Festival for the first time since 1987.  This will be his ONLY appearance at a major spring festival in New Orleans in 2014.  Dr.  John and the Nite250x250 Trippers will perform on the riverfront Abita Stage Friday, April 11th at 4:30 p.m.  In what promises to be an incredible musical evening, Dr.  John will be followed by the Roots of Music with very special guests, and Grammy award-winning Rebirth Brass Band.  Longtime Festival supporter, vendor, and friend – Tropical Isle – has generously provided the support to bring Dr. John back to French Quarter Festival.

Riverfront construction ends and brings the launch of a new music stage: Big River Stage

Year after year, French Quarter Festival is voted ‘locals’ favorite’ while also attracting a tremendous out-of-town audience.  A huge part of the appeal is that attendees get a true and authentic New Orleans experience – a broad range of Louisiana artists and a diverse variety of musical styles and genres.  Since1984, French Quarter Festival has been committed to featuring New Orleans’ finest artists every day of the festival, on stages all over the French Quarter.   The tradition continues in 2014, when FQFI unveils the Big River Stage with a diverse mix of talented artists that includes Davell Crawford, Paul Sanchez and the Minimum Rage, Glen David Andrews, Jeremy Davenport, New Birth Brass Band, Eric Lindell, Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Flow Tribe, Diablo’s Horns, George Porter, Jr. and Runnin’ Pardners, Lynn Drury, Russell Batiste & Friends with The Wild Tchoupitoulas featuring Jason Neville, Egg Yolk Jubilee, Big Chief Bo Dollis & the Wild Magnolias, Casa Samba Extravaganza, The New Orleans Suspects, the Iguanas, and more.  The Big River Stage will feature music daily, on April 10, 11, 12 and 13, 2014.

Popeye’s Brass Band Jam at the Old U.S. Mint

Brass bands are moving from the Riverside Legacy Stage (formerly located on the riverfront) to the newPopeye’s Brass Band Jam Stage at the Old U.S. Mint.  Barracks Street will be closed to traffic, adding more to the ‘pedestrian playground’ and street party feel of the Festival.  Popeye’s Brass Band Jam will feature Leroy Jones’ Original Hurricane Brass Band, Hot 8 Brass Band, The Original Pinettes Brass Band, Treme Brass Band, Audacity Brass Band, Lagniappe Brass Band, Onward Brass Band, Corey Henry’s Treme Funktet, The Original Pinettes Brass Band, Andrew Hall’s Society Brass Band, Orleans Brass Band, and more.  Popeye’s Brass Band Stage will run April 11, 12, and 13, 2014.

Return of the Chevron Cajun Zydeco Showcase to the Bienville Triangle:

French Quarter becomes a Pedestrian Playground

The Chevron Cajun Zydeco Showcase launched in 2013 at the Bienville Triangle (North Peters near St. Louis Street).  It was such a hit with festival fans, that it will return for 2014.    One of the most popular stages at Festival, the 2014 lineup includes: Big Easy Playboys, Waylon Thibodeaux Band, Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet, Corey Ledet, Brandon Moreau & his Cajungrass, Bruce Daigrepoint Cajun Band, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Amada Shaw, Feufollet, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, Babineaux Sisters Band, Rusty Metoyer and the Zydeco Krush, Sean Ardoin-n-Zydekool, Roddie Romero & the Hub City Allstars, Les Freres Michot, Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, and more.

It’s all about the music; the very best live, local music across 21 stages        

Festival organizers will bring back the ‘Chevron Evening Concert Series.‘  This year’s Chevron Evening Concert Series artists include Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas, Rockin’ Dopsie and the Zydeco Twisters, and Roddie Romero & the Hub City All Stars.

French Quarter Festival’s Musician Sponsorship Program continues to grow.  Local business Tropical Isle provided funding to support Dr. John’s performance, and so far in 2014, over 50 other individuals, foundations, and businesses have signed up to support local musicians by ‘adopting an artist’.  Sponsors come from all over the United States – from California to Maryland – and are helping to keep French Quarter Festival free for the community.  The 2014 French Quarter Festival will feature over 1,400 local artists.  The Festival is still seeking 2014 sponsorships.  Contact Georgia Rhody at (504) 522-5730 or for more information.

New site for the Film Festival at French Quarter Festival: Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré

French Quarter Festivals, Inc. continues its partnership with Timecode:nola – a non-profit 501c3 organization made up of filmmakers who promote local filmmaking.  Because of its incredible popularity at the 2013 French Quarter Festival, the 2014 Film Festival (free and open to the public) will move to Le Petit Theatre, with more room for fans.   Movies and shorts will focus on New Orleans music, neighborhoods and culture.  Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, originally organized in 1916 as the New Orleans Chapter of the Drama League of America and one year later as the Drawing Room Players, is one of the oldest community theatres in the country. Since moving into its current home in 1922, the “Little Theatre” has entertained thousands of audience members in a wide array of dramas, comedies, and musicals.

Exciting new additions to Festival food and beverages 

The World’s Largest Jazz Brunch will include a new dining area for festival goers.  Over 60 food vendors make up ‘The World’s Largest Jazz Brunch’ at French Quarter Festival, featuring classic New Orleans dishes as well as cuisine from the best restaurants in the region.   A number of restaurants have been with the festival since its beginning in 1984, and have been great partners for 30 years:  Pat O’Brien’s, Ristorante Carmelo, Trey Yuen, Tujague’s, Vaucresson Sausage, Desire Oyster Bar, Court of Two Sisters, and The Gumbo Shop.   Other festival favorites return for 2014, including Galatoire’s, Muriel’s, Antoine’s, Praline Connection, Dickie Brennan’s, Restaurant R’evolution, Desire Oyster Bar, Bennachin, Love at First Bite, Crescent Pie and Sausage, Boucherie, GW Fins, House of Blues, Jacques-Imo’s, K-Paul’s, Mrs. Wheat’s, Lasyone’s Meat Pies, and more.

Festival organizers are excited to introduce a new riverfront picnic area where festival-goers can savor fine cuisine in a festive, casual atmosphere.  The new picnic area will be located on the riverfront Kohlmeyer Lawn.

Abita Brewing Company and French Quarter Festivals, Inc. are proud to announce a new, five-year partnership for both French Quarter Festival and Satchmo SummerFest.   This year, Abita will be pouringStrawberry Abita on draft – for the first time ever.  In addition, Abita Amber, Purple Haze, Jockamo IPA, and Abita Light will be on tap.

Sponsors help to keep this a true community event –

Chevron returns as Title Sponsor, Capital One Bank returns as a Major Sponsor, and

French Quarter Festival welcomes GE Capital

to the growing number of festival supporters

French Quarter Festivals, Inc. is proud of its history of providing high-quality events at no cost, and being accessible to all.   In order to keep the Festival free and open to the public, the organization relies heavily on the contributions of sponsors and partners, beverage and merchandise sales, and vendor fees. Festival organizers welcome the return of Chevron as Title Sponsor of both French Quarter Festival and Satchmo SummerFest.  Capital One Bank returns as a Major Sponsor of French Quarter Festival.

FQFI also welcomes new sponsors GE Capital with Technology in NOLA and New Orleans Original Daiquiris.

In partnership with GE Capital, the French Quarter Festival iPhone App is back, along with the Android App – and they are still both FREE, courtesy of GE Capital.   Fans can receive up to the minute announcements, downloadable music schedules, complete menus, special events, merchandise updates, shuttle information, and unique offers to enhance their festival experience.  The application will be available for download in March.

Chevron officials noted, “Chevron is proud to be the presenting sponsor of this year’s French Quarter Festival – an event that embodies the cultural diversity and economic growth that serve as the foundation of Greater New Orleans,” said Sakari Morrison, General Manager Public Affairs, Chevron Gulf of Mexico. “We look forward to playing a role in this year’s event as part of our longstanding commitment to all the communities in which we live and work.”

Capital One Bank officials noted, “Capital One Bank is pleased to continue its longtime support of this great local festival, which offers world-class music and food and provides a significant and positive economic impact to our city, region and state,” said Capital One Bank Southeast Louisiana Market President Steve Hemperley. “At Capital One Bank, we are committed to investing for good in greater New Orleans, and by supporting the French Quarter Festival, we’re helping our local economy.”

Returning sponsors include: Abita Brewing Company, BMI, Clear Channel, Court of Two Sisters, Crystal Clear Imaging, Dickie Brennan & Company, DownBeat Magazine, French Market Corporation, Harrah’s Foundation, Hermann Grima House, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Hotel Monteleone, House of Blues,, ITS, Louisiana Cookin’, Louisiana Lottery, Musician’s Performance Fund, The New Orleans Advocate, New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, NOLA Jitterbugs, OffBeat Magazine, Palm Court Jazz Café, Pat O’Brien’s, Pelican Ice, Pepsi, Popeye’s, Republic National Distributing, Rolland Lock and Safe, Rouses Market, Royal Sonesta, SDT, Tropical Isle, Tulane Medical Center, Tulane Hospital for Children, The Vinyl District, Where Magazine, Where Y’at Magazine, Windsor Court Hotel, WWL-TV, WWNO 89.9 FM, WWOZ, 96.1 The River, 101.5 WYNK, 102.5 WFMF, and 1150AM WJOB.

Opening Night Gala returns to Antoine’s      

April 10th, the opening gala benefitting The Roots of Music will return to Antoine’s Restaurant.  The Patron Party takes place from 7-8 pm and Gala from 8-10:30 pm.  Guests will enjoy dinner from Antoine’s and other festival-favorite restaurants, with open bar courtesy of Republic National Distributing, Abita Brewing Company, and Pepsi.   Entertainment includes Davell Crawford and The Moonshiners Trio. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online at or by calling 504-227-3124.  Patron tickets are $250 and Gala tickets are $125 ($150 beginning April 1st).

Enhanced Security Measures Boost Safety      

The safety of festival-goers is FQFI’s top priority.  This year, FQFI will increase its presence with FESS, Inc. and NOPD to provide a safer environment for the public.  The measures will include bag checks at major riverfront access points.  FQFI will actively enforce a ban on drugs, firearms, pets, and outside beverages.

Special Events, Programs, and Festival Extras      

Free dance lessons will return to French Quarter Festival with dance classes at the French Market Traditional Jazz Stage.  The Children’s Stage will also feature Second Line dance classes for kids:Heal2Toe dance and exercise classes taught by Darryl Young (aka Dancingman504).   Dance lessons are scheduled for the French Market Traditional Jazz Stage; Zydeco dance lessons at the Cajun Zydeco Stage; second line dance lessons and Heal2Toe at the Children’s Headquarters.  Between musical breaks, festival patrons are invited to learn traditional dance-styles such as the Charleston, Swing, Zydeco and Second-line.  Instructors from NOLA Jitterbugs will demonstrate, entertain, and educate visitors on these various dance styles.

Let them Talk: Conversations about Louisiana Music will return to French Quarter Festival with presentations and performances at the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, 3rd Floor Auditorium on Saturday and Sunday at Festival (April 12 and 13).   This series is free and open to the public.

Battle of the Bands, Dancing at Dusk, Rouses World Championship Crawfish Eating Contest, Pirates Alley Juried Art Show, St. Louis Cathedral Spring Concert, Opera at Dusk, Chevron Children’s Headquarters, and the Friday Morning Second Line Parade are beloved special events that all are part of the 2014 French Quarter Festival.

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