New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, more commonly known as Jazz Fest, is arguably the biggest and best festival of the year in New Orleans. Seven full days of performances from world-renown musicians like Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam (to name just a few) will treat Jazz Fest 2016 patrons to a lifetime’s worth of concerts in one single festival.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival features 7 full days of music, food, crafts and more. (Photo courtesy Flickr user sailn1)

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival features 7 full days of music, food, crafts and more. (Photo courtesy Flickr user sailn1)

How To Get To Jazz Fest From Our Hotel

Although the festival isn’t as close to our hotel as, say, French Quarter Festival, it’s definitely one worth attending. New Orleans offers plenty of great transportation options for tourists, and there are a variety of ways to get to the Fairgrounds for Jazz Fest.

You can take a scenic streetcar trip up Canal Street and over to City Park, and walk to the Fairgrounds from there, or you can take the Jazz Fest Express Shuttle, which departs from 500 Canal Street or the Steamboat Natchez Dock (Toulouse St. at the Mississippi River). Round-trip shuttles are $19 per person and tickets can be purchased at the shuttle departure locations on the days of Jazz Festival, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Of course, you can also have our concierge arrange a taxi or request an Uber or Lyft car service via your mobile device. Keep in mind that Jazz Fest is a very busy time, so availability may be limited and prices may surge during peak hours.

What To Do & Who To See At Jazz Fest 2016

Plan to spend the full day at Jazz Fest and check out ample food vendors, crafts presentations, and, of course, music.

Be sure to make room for a little downtime. Jazz Fest can be overwhelming if you don’t work in a bit of time to refuel. Choose refreshing vendor items like the famous Mango Freeze from New Orleans radio station WWOZ and remember to drink plenty of water. Seek out a misting tent to cool off for a few minutes… you’ll be ready to enjoy the music again after a quick rest.

Jazz Fest offers three different marketplaces full of artisans from near and far. The Congo Square African Marketplace celebrates the roots of the cultures that shaped jazz and other New Orleans music. The Contemporary Crafts area offers modern paintings, photographs, sculptures, handcrafted clothing, leather goods and jewelry, while the Louisiana Marketplace showcases the very best of local art, including traditional Creole and Acadian furniture.

Jazz Fest is also famous for its delicious food and refreshing drinks. You’ll have the chance to sample New Orleans delicacies like Crawfish Bread, Cajun Jambalaya, Hot Sausage Po-Boys, Pecan Catfish Meunière, Alligator Pies, Muffulettas, Boiled Crawfish, Cajun Duck Po-Boys, Red Beans & Rice, Boudin Balls, Shrimp & Grits, Crawfish Beignets, and much more.

trombone shorty

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue will continue their tradition of playing on the last day of Jazz Fest. (Photo courtesy New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Facebook)

As for music, you’ll want to plan out your must-see acts in advance. Sometimes, you’ll have to choose between two of your favorites if they’re playing on different stages at the same time… there are just too many acts to see at this massive festival!

Take a look at a few of the Jazz Fest headliners each day below, or view the full list of performers here: 

Friday, April 22, 2016

  • Steely Dan
  • Janelle Monáe
  • Gov’t Mule
  • Grace Potter
  • Kermit Ruffins & the Barbeque Swingers

Saturday, April 23, 2016

  • Pearl Jam
  • Van Morrison
  • Maxwell
  • Boz Scaggs
  • Galactic
  • Mystikal

Sunday, April 24, 2016

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Nick Jonas
  • Julio Iglesias
  • Jonny Lang
  • Elle King

Thursday, April 28, 2016

  • Tedeschi Trucks Band & Friends
  • Elvis Costello & The Imposters
  • Flo Rida
  • Gary Clark Jr.
  • Cyril Neville & SwampFunk

Friday, April 29, 2016

  • Paul Simon
  • My Morning Jacket
  • Ms. Lauryn Hill
  • Irma Thomas
  • Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Saturday, April 30, 2016

  • Stevie Wonder
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Beck
  • Dr. John & The Nite Trippers
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Sunday, May 1, 2016

  • Neil Young + Promise of the Real
  • Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Arlo Guthrie
  • Mavis Staples
  • Aaron Neville

After The Fest

By the time you’re ready to leave Jazz Fest, you’ll probably be craving air conditioning. Head back to our hotel and rinse off (or take a dip in our pool), but don’t lie down just yet!

Walk just outside our doors and over to the Hotel Monteleone, our sister property, where you can enjoy their Jazzy Jam series inside their Carousel Bar & Lounge. You’ll hear incredible live jazz music in an intimate, elegant setting. A bar bites menu, craft cocktails, and thorough wine list are the perfect way to cap off a memorable day.

Coming to New Orleans for Jazz Fest? Book your hotel room now!