French Quarter Festival comes to the neighborhood starting Thursday, April 7 through Sunday, April 10, 2016 highlighting the culture, food, history, and people of New Orleans’ historic epicenter. This free festival features more than 1,700 local Louisiana musicians across stages peppered through the French Quarter and Woldenberg Park at the Mississippi riverfront.

musician french quarter fest

More than 1,700 musicians will perform at this year’s French Quarter Fest. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Aris Vrakas)

Come Hungry and Ready To Indulge

As is so common with New Orleans, music is a huge component of the festival – but wherever there’s music, there’s food. French Quarter Fest has an impressive list of food vendors, offering up traditional New Orleans fare like barbecue shrimp, cochon de lait po-boys, and plenty of crawfish. The sounds and smells of this festival are simply intoxicating, and our location on Decatur Street puts us in the center of the action.

Savory Bites

Some of the city’s most iconic restaurants have a presence during French Quarter Fest. Head to the foot booths in Jackson Square to sample Antoine’s Oysters Bonne Femme and Shrimp Regua or try the Crawfish Louise from Court of Two Sisters.

If a po-boy is more your speed, there are plenty of options available. Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House is offering a Prime Beef Debris Po-Boy and a BBQ Shrimp Po-Boy. Galatoire’s, another iconic New Orleans restaurant, is serving gluten-free Shrimp Remoulade in addition to a Fried Shrimp “BLT” Po-Boy.

The Plum Street Snoballs stand at French Quarter Fest gives guests the option to add tequila, whiskey, and other liquors to their snoballs. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Tim Gonzalez)

The Plum Street Snoballs stand at French Quarter Fest gives guests the option to add tequila, whiskey, and other liquors to their snoballs. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Tim Gonzalez)

Sweet Treats

Whether you’re craving Pontchatoula Strawberry Shortcake (from GW Fins), White Chocolate Kingcake Bread Pudding (from Haydel’s Bakery), or a cool Café au Lait Ice Cream (from Quintin’s Ice Cream), practically any dessert you can think of is available at French Quarter Fest.

You can also get snowballs – a New Orleans classic – from Plum Street Snoballs with your choice of boozy extras like tequila, rum, or several liqueurs.

Check out the complete list of food vendors here!

Craving a sit-down experience?

Our on-site restaurant, Latitude 29, has creative menu and tiki drink items in a fun and festive setting – the perfect way to cool off and relax after a day at the festival.

Buy a Drink, Leave a Tip

In addition to food, French Quarter Fest offers beverages like wine, cocktails, and daiquiris. You’ll also find a tip jar at every beverage stand. Proceeds from the tip jars are split amongst the festival’s musicians, so leave a little lagniappe to thank them for the music.

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Here are a few more ways to enjoy French Quarter Fest during your stay at Bienville House:

Think Beyond the Big Stages

The festival’s largest stages along the riverfront, such as the Abita Beer Stage at Woldenberg Park and the GE Digital Big River Stage next to the Canal Street Ferry Terminal host legendary acts like Irma Thomas, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Charmaine Neville, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Flow Tribe, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

French Quarter Festival and NOLA Jitterbugs present free dance lessons at The French Market Traditional Jazz Stage. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Infrogmation)

French Quarter Festival and NOLA Jitterbugs present free dance lessons at The French Market Traditional Jazz Stage. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Infrogmation)

However, some of the best entertainment takes place in other places. For example, the French Market Traditional Jazz Stage and the Chevron Cajun-Zydeco Showcase hosts free dancing lessons and live hot jazz music throughout the weekend. WWL’s Esplanade in the Shade Stage also hosts local indie favorites Happy Talk Band and Tank and the Bangas on Saturday, April 9. Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre also plays host to the Whitney Bank Film Festival, which will screen the documentary A Tribute to Toussaint on Friday, April 8 in honor of the legendary Allen Toussaint, who passed away last fall.

A Festival Outside Your Front Door

We’re located in the middle of the French Quarter, so there’s no need to make additional travel plans to get to French Quarter Fest. Simply walk out the door!

We’re located on Decatur Street, which offers a direct route to Jackson Square. If you need directions to a particular stage, our concierge will be more than happy to help!

Spring festival season is a great time to enjoy the French Quarter, but every day is a celebration when you’re staying in the middle of New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood. Book now for an unforgettable trip any time of the year.