49th Jazz Fest a Huge Success!

People who attended Jazz Fest 2018 already know what a one-of-a-kind experience it is. Chock full of vibrant New Orleans culture, top musical performers, and, of course, delicious cuisine, it’s no wonder why everyone is already looking forward to the 50th Jazz Fest next year. Here’s a recap of the local favorites and famous headliners that came together to make this year’s festival a success, followed by some insider tips for how attendees can make their next Jazz Fest experience even better.

Top Local Performances of 2018

A stage at New Orleans Jazz Fest

With seven full days of music, it’s incredibly difficult to narrow down the highlights. But, when it comes to local flavor, here are some of our favorites. Introducing out-of-towners to the local Bounce style, Big Freedia lit up the stage with her lively, energetic set. Rebirth Brass Band and Big Sam’s Funky Nation stole the show in the Brass and Funk genres, while Kermit Ruffins took his iconic nightlife performances onto the festival stage. For anyone who missed him at Jazz Fest, he can be found playing many a night at his Mother in Law Lounge in the famed Treme neighborhood. Last but not least, there were the local favorites who are also making waves in the national music scene: Trombone Shorty and the Revivalists. In spite of their growing fame, these artists are never too busy to play the local festival circuit—and that’s why NOLA loves them.

Headliners Who Couldn’t Be Beat

While Jazz Fest is overflowing with local talent, it’s also known for bringing big names in music into the Crescent City. This year’s festival headliners included classic artists like Aerosmith, Sting, Jimmy Buffett, Lionel Ritchie, and Bonnie Raitt. Getting the crowds up and dancing, LL Cool J and Khalid showcased some of the festival’s best Hip Hop and R&B. But, for those seeking a more relaxed experience, Jack Johnson was on the scene, offering his laid-back beachy vibes. No matter what genre festivalgoers were seeking, Jazz Fest 2018 delivered an unforgettable music experience.

Looking Ahead to Jazz Fest’s 50th Anniversary

With 2019 celebrating half a century of Jazz Fest, next year’s festival is sure to be packed with talent and even more crowded than usual. Check out these insider tips for how to beat the crowds and ensure that next year’s experience is just as good as this year’s—if not better! While weekends at Jazz Fest usually feature the most famous performers, they’re also the most crowded. Thursday is known for being the day when most locals attend, and for an authentic experience featuring NOLA talent, minus the hoards of tourists, it’s a great day to go. When it comes to food, expect long lines at any booths serving up classic New Orleans dishes. No one wants to miss their chance at authentic gumbo or fried shrimp po’boys! Approach the festival food scene with patience and you’re sure to enjoy a delicious experience—but it’s also worth planning some extra time in the city to enjoy some of the city’s top dining experiences. Even more important than preparing for crowds is preparing for the unpredictable Louisiana weather. Check out our list of summer packing essentials, and take full advantage of the festival’s water stations to stay healthy and hydrated in the heat.

There’s almost a full year until Jazz Fest is here again, and at Joieful, we already can’t wait! Luckily, there are a lot more unique New Orleans experiences to keep the good times rolling until then.