When people think “New Orleans,” they think jazz and jambalaya, but this weekend, blues and barbecue is the more accurate pairing. The Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival starts Friday in Lafayette Square, a park within the Central Business District just a few blocks from Bienville House. Running through Sunday, Oct. 19, the event features a variety of musicians and foods that will add spice and soul to your weekend. Here are some of the highlights the fest has to offer:


Louisiana Blues has remained one of the most recognizable genres out our state. Adding jazz characteristics and Caribbean influences to classic blues, New Orleans Blues rose to fame in the 1940s and ‘50s as a prominent sub-genre, adding a new sound to our jazz-heavy city. Blues and BBQ Festival celebrates our rich – though not always recognized – blues history with a lineup of prominent musicians.

lafayette square

Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival will take place in Lafayette Square this weekend. (Photo courtesy Nelo Hotsuma on Flickr.)

Local blues guitarist Little Freddie King performs on Friday, and Anna Popovic closes the festival that evening. Originally from Serbia, this singer/guitarist exemplifies the international reach of the blues sound born out of the American Delta. Other standouts throughout the weekend include Los Lobos, Denise LaSalle, and Valerie June.


Just like the blues, barbecue often plays second fiddle to Creole cuisine in New Orleans. At the festival, however, visitors can expect a wide selection of dishes from local restaurants, including cochon de lait po’boys from Walker’s BBQ and pork and slaw tacos from Squeal. With more than a dozen gluten-free options available, as well as options for vegetarians and vegans, everyone can enjoy a helping or two of smoky, sweet flavors.

Arts and Crafts

Every year, the festival chooses 35 local and regional artists to sell their wares at the event. Visitors can peruse the booths and purchase handmade items like soap, pottery, silverworks, wooden mirrors, and more. Check out a complete list of vendors and view a slide show of select vendors’ work to get a head start on what to buy.

If you’re looking for hotel options for this fun and free event, book now at Bienville House. We have rooms that include access to amenities like a complimentary breakfast and heated saltwater pool – not to mention we’re within walking distance to the festival.