2015 CRESCENT CITY BLUES & BBQ FESTIVAL
New Orleans is - as Art Neville famously sang in The Meters' classic version of the Lee Dorsey song Ride Your Pony - the Home of the Blues. So for the 10th annual Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival we've put together a very special treat. New Orleans groove masters The Funky Meters will team up with Ride Your Pony's composer, the legendary Allen Toussaint, and the Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas.
And that's not all - not by a long shot. Our two stages will feature a constellation of blues and R&B luminaries, including: Ruthie Foster, Marcia Ball, Jarekus Singleton, Denise LaSalle, Kenny Neal, Swamp Dogg, Lurrie Bell, Mason Ruffner, Mr. Sipp “The Mississippi Blues Child,” Son Little and a reunion of Excello Records artists with Lazy Lester, Carol Fran and Classie Ballou.
This free event takes place Oct. 16-18, 2015, in New Orleans’ Lafayette Square Park. It’s produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.
What they're saying about the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival:
"I've been to many blues festivals in the U.S. and Europe, and I can honestly say that the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival is a charming piece of musical heaven. If you are planning a trip to New Orleans and want to experience the city and its wonderful music without enormous crowds, put this October, free festival on your musical bucket list." - Art Tipaldi, Editor, Blues Revue Magazine
All the details are below. But if you want to keep up with all the latest news - like tons of videos, audio, photos and other tidbits of info to give you the inside scoop on the festival and all of our performers - tune in to our Facebook page here.
2015 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival Schedule:
Friday, Oct. 16
5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Walter Wolfman Washington
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Marcia Ball
Saturday, Oct. 17
St. Charles Ave. Stage:
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Mike "Soul Man" Baptiste
2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Little Freddie King
4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Kenny Neal
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. "Ride Your Pony Down to New Orleans - Home of the Blues" starring The Funky Meters (Art Neville, George Porter, Brian Stoltz and Terrence Houston) plus special guests Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas
Camp Street Stage:
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88s
1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Mason Ruffner
3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lurrie Bell
5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. Swamp Dogg
Sunday, Oct. 18
St. Charles Ave. Stage:
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Christone "Kingfish" Ingram
2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Jarekus Singleton
4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Excello Records Reunion
Featuring Lazy Lester, Carol Fran, Classie Ballou and Li’l Buck Sinegal
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Ruthie Foster
Camp Street Stage:
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Brint Anderson Band
1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Mr. Sipp, "The Mississippi Blues Child"
3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Son Little
5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. Denise LaSalle
As always, we will host a huge arts market, with 30 of our best local and regional makers of hand-crafted artworks and home furnishings. For the complete list of vendors with links to their web sites, see here. For an online slide show of their works and wares, see here.
Once again, we've gove overboard with a huge spread of great barbecue, representing several regional styles - with a fresh emphasis on Louisiana, since New Orleans has seen a surge in barbecue restaurants (ahem) in the time since we started this festival! And yes, it's a barbecue festival - but we still have some options for vegetarians, vegans and those who eat gluten-free. For the complete list of vendors and their menus, see here.
Oral History Stage
As in years past, we will host an Oral History Stage where many of our performers will be interviewed about their lives, influences and music. The interviews will be open to the public, and will take place in the NORD Theater in the ground floor of Gallier Hall – just across St. Charles Avenue from Lafayette Square. The schedule of interviews is:
Saturday, Oct. 17:
3 p.m.: Mason Ruffner
4 p.m.: Swamp Dogg
5 p.m.: Lurrie Bell
Sunday, Oct. 18:
12:30 p.m.: Brint Anderson
2 p.m.: Excello Reunion
4 p.m.: Jarekus Singleton
Artist John Bukaty is painting our second annual official poster, which is going to be amazing! It features an iconic image of the beloved New Orleans soul man - and Blues & BBQ Festival regular - Walter "Wolfman" Washington. The poster will be on sale in two versions: signed by both Bukaty and Washington, numbered and embossed, for $125; and numbered and signed by Bukaty for $50. We'll soon have them available online. Meanwhile, you can order both the 2015 poster and the few remaining copies of our 2014 poster featuring Little Freddie King, online here.
CDs, T-Shirts and Autographs
As in the past, the Louisiana Music Factory will host our merchandise operation. Most of our performers will visit the tent to sign autographs immediately after their performances.
Keep The Festival Safe and Free: No Outside Food, Beverages or Pets
Like all of our events, the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival is completely free and open to the public - part of the community investment made by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. PLEASE: Except for those with small children or dietary restrictions, please do not bring outside food or beverages to the event - no coolers are permitted.
We realize that Lafayette Square is usually open to pets. But for the safety and comfort of our large audience, we ask that you respect your neighbors and leave your companion animals at home (except for service animals, of course). Thank you.
Please note that we will post donation boxes at all of the entrances to the park - your donations are most welcome and help us to offset our (very significant) costs in producing this event. If you would like to support the Foundation and help keep this event free, please make the tax-deductible contribution of your choice here.
The City of New Orleans has a new prohibition on smoking - which doesn't cover outdoor spaces in most of the city, but it does cover Lafayette Square. So, please, no smoking of cigarettes, cigars or pipes, and no vaping. Thank you.
VIP Experience Passes
To help recoup some of our costs, we put on sale a very limited number of special VIP Experience backstage passes. These provide access to special viewing and seating areas at both stages, a complimentary bar and a deluxe hospitality suite with air conditioning and indoor bathrooms. The VIP Experience passes cost $250 each (plus a service charge of $13.49), and are good for the entire weekend. We do not sell single-day passes. The passes are not transferrable (from one person to another) and all sales are final (no refunds). Only a handful of VIP passes are still available. To order, click here. Note: VIP passes are non-transferrable and non-refundable.
Lafayette Square is conveniently located along the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line and the Magazine Street bus route.
Free Bicycle Parking
In collaboration with our friends at Bike Easy, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting bicycle ridership, we’re offering free valet bicycle parking. Please ride your bike to the event, knowing that it’ll be safe and secure – and you won’t have to hassle with locking it to a telephone pole or worrying about somebody stealing your tires or seat.
Easy parking is available at several surface and indoor parking lots within a few blocks of the festival. The Poydras Center (650 Poydras Street) will offer all-day parking on Saturday and Sunday for a flat fee of $10 per day -- enter the parking garage from Camp Street.
On the Radio
Community radio station WWOZ 90.7 FM will broadcast most of the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival live from Lafayette Square – over the air and in streaming audio at www.wwoz.org.
Due to the heavy use of camp chairs by many fans in close proximity to our stages, we are forced to institute a "no chairs" perimeter of 75 feet from both stages. We appreciate that many of you like to bring chairs to the festival and set up camp in front of the stages. But this prevents many of our other guests from having the opportunity to get a closer look at the onstage action. We thank you in advance for your understanding.
We provide reserved areas at both stages for our guests who use wheelchairs. We also provide ADA compliant toilets in all three of our locations for Port-O-Lets (at the corners of Camp and North Maestri streets, Camp Street and South Maestri streets, and St. Charles at South Maestri). The ADA toilets are kept locked for cleanliness; to access them, please visit our Foundation Information booth and we'll provide you with the key or combination.
Please, no audio or video recording of any performances at the festival.
The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival is a presentation of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other funds, for year-round programs in the areas of education, economic development and cultural events. For more about the Foundation and what we do, visit us online at www.jazzandheritage.org.
Click the links below to download documents.