2017 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

Oct 13–15, 2017
Friday, Oct. 13: 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 14, and Sunday, Oct. 15: 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Lafayette Square Park
540 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Admission: Free!

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We’ve got an online auction of great, collectible items from the 2017 Blues & BBQ Festival to benefit our free education program, the Heritage School of Music. On offer are three amazing paintings - each composed live by artist John Bukaty during the performances of three of our headliners - and a cool guitar autographed by all of our performers. To see them, visit www.BidPal.net/bluesfest. The auction stays open until 5 p.m. CST on Tuesday, Oct. 31.



Grammy winners Robert Cray and Bobby Rush will top the bill of the 12th annual Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Oct. 13-15 in New Orleans’ Lafayette Square Park. Admission is free.

"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 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.

The 2017 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival has a little bit of something for all types of blues fans.

For those who love old-school juke joint style, we’ll present such unsung legends as King Edward, Louis “Gearshifter” Youngblood – both from Mississippi – and Louisiana native Robert Finley, plus New Orleans’ own Little Freddie King.

For fans of deeply soulful gospel, we’ve got the amazing Como Mamas of Como, Mississippi.

For those craving sleek soul, we present a favorite son of New Orleans, Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters. And this year we’re showcasing the New Soul Finders, featuring singer Marilyn Barbarin (of the legendary Barbarin family of New Orleans musicians) and Reggie Scanlon of Radiators fame.

Love fiery guitar burners? You can’t do better than John Mooney, Samantha Fish (a new resident of New Orleans) and local hero Guitar Lightning Lee – who’ll all be at the festival this year.

We’ve got veteran bluesmen like Grady Champion (another Mississippi native), and young upstarts like A.J. Ghent (from Atlanta). We’ve even got some great up-and-coming New Orleans artists, such as Andrew Duhon and the Fortifiers.

And then there are our headliners – Robert Cray, a star ever since he burst onto pop radio with soulful blues in the 1980s, and Bobby Rush (born in Homer, Louisiana), a mesmerizing entertainer who just won his first Grammy award at age 83.

It all kicks off with a big-band party of New Orleans icons: the incomparable Deacon John’s Jump Blues, plus the longtime King of Bourbon Street, Luther Kent & Trick Bag.

It’s a barbecue festival, so of course we’ll have the best assemblage of regional meat smokers to be found anywhere – including some of the hot new barbecue restaurants that have lit up the New Orleans culinary scene. And, as always, we’ll have a great art market full of one-of-a-kind crafts.

Admission is free. This is, after all, an event produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation – the nonprofit that owns Jazz Fest and uses the proceeds from that world-famous event for free year-round programs in education, economic development and cultural enrichment.

But if you’re looking for that extra bit of comfort and style, we offer our exclusive VIP EXPERIENCE pass, which provides access to premium seating as well as indoor and outdoor hospitality areas with complimentary food and drink. For details, see here.

2017 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival Performance Schedule:

Friday, Oct. 13
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.             Deacon John's Jump Blues
5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.        Luther Kent & Trick Bag

Saturday, Oct. 14
St. Charles Ave. Stage

7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.           Robert Cray
4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.      John Mooney
2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.      Samantha Fish
12 p.m. to 1 p.m.              Guitar Lightning Lee

Camp Street Stage:
5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m.           Grady Champion
3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.      A.J. Ghent
1 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.           Louis "Gearshifter" Youngblood
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.            King Edward

Sunday, Oct. 15
St Charles Ave. Stage

7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.            Bobby Rush
4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.       Robert Finley
2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.       Como Mamas
12 p.m. to 1 p.m.               Andrew Duhon

Camp Street Stage:
5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m.           Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters
3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.      Little Freddie King
1 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.           The New Soul Finders
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.            The Fortifiers

Arts Market
As always, we will host a huge arts market, with 22 of our best local and regional makers of hand-crafted artworks and home furnishings. We have carefully curated our group of arts market vendors to showcase the finest quality. For the complete list of Arts Market vendors, see here.

Food Vendors
Once again, we're going 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 will have some options for vegetarians and those who eat gluten-free. For the complete list of our 12 barbecue and four dessert vendors and their menus, see here.

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 indoor hospitality suite with a balcony view of Lafayette Square, air conditioning, catering and real 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). To order, click here. Note: VIP passes are non-transferrable and non-refundable.

Official Music Player
Check out our official 2017 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival music player, featuring tracks from most of this year's performers, powered by VL Group.



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. We’ll have an official Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival t-shirt available for sale as well.

Official Blues & BBQ Festival Poster
Bobby Rush that graces the official poster of the 2017 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, in an image painted by the artist John Bukaty. The poster, which measures 32 by 22 inches, comes in two versions - signed by Bukaty for $50, or signed by Bukaty and Bobby Rush for $125. You can get them at the festival in the Official Merchandise booth, or online here. All sales proceeds benefit our Heritage School of Music.

Online Auctions to Benefit the Heritage School of Music
As he has done for years, the artist John Bukaty will capture three of our performers onstage and render them in dynamic, impressionistic paintings. This year, Bukaty will paint during the performances by Bobby Rush, Samantha Fish and the Como Mamas. All of the works will be sold by a silent, online auction to benefit our free program the Heritage School of Music.  We'll also auction a beautiful G&L Telecaster-style guitar (donated, and decorated with a custom image of Bobby Rush, by Michael Gauf of Painted Axe) that will be autographed by all of the performers at this year's festival. NEW THIS YEAR: All of the auctions will be held online. To bid, visit www.BidPal.net/bluesfest, set up a user account and join the action. For more about the auction, see here. The auction will stay open until 5 p.m. CST on Tuesday, Oct. 31. You don't have to be at the festival - or even in New Orleans to bid. Thank you!

Official Blues & BBQ Festival T-Shirt
As we have for years, we hosted a contest to design the official Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival t-shirt. This year's winner is Rafael Garcia, a 28-year-old self-taught graphic designer and illustrator from the Philippines. For more about previous contest winners, see here. Unlike our poster, you can't buy the t-shirt online. The only place to get it as at the festival. And we always sell out. So get your t-shirts early while supplies last.

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.

No Smoking
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.

Public Transit
Lafayette Square is conveniently located along the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line (map) and the Magazine Street (No. 11) bus route (map).

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.

There is parking in the Poydras Center (650 Poydras Street) for a $10 flat fee; enter via Camp Street. There are many other street-level parking lots in the area.

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.

No-Chairs Perimeter
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.

ADA Access
We provide reserved areas at both stages for our guests who use wheelchairs. And - new this year - we have a special deck with views of both stages reserved for our guests in wheelchairs. There is an ADA drop-off area on Camp Street where vehicles carrying passengers with special needs may unload. All of our food booths will have serving counters at a height of 32-inches. 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, or ask any of the greeters who are seated at the donation boxes at six entry points around the park.

No Recording
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.

2017 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival Food Vendors and Menus

2017 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival Arts Market Vendors

Blues & BBQ Festival Archive:

2020's Line-up and Festival Details
2019's Line-up and Festival Details
2018's Line-up and Festival Details
2017's Line-up and Festival Details
2016's Line-up and Festival Details
2015's Line-up and Festival Details
2014's Line-up and Festival Details
2013's Line-up and Festival Details
2012's Line-up and Festival Details
2011's Line-up and Festival Details
2010's Line-up and Festival Details
2009's Line-up and Festival Details
2008's Line-up and Festival Details
2007's Line-up and Festival Details

Check out what else we do.

2017 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors:

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.