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8,500 Free Passes to Jazz Fest Distributed Through Community Outreach Tickets

8,500 Free Passes to Jazz Fest Distributed Through Community Outreach Tickets

2018 Community Outreach Tickets Awarded
8,500 Free Jazz Fest Tickets Provided to Local Nonprofits

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation has distributed more than 8,500 free tickets to Jazz Fest as part of its annual effort to provide access to the festival for those who otherwise couldn’t afford to attend.

Since 1985, the Jazz & Heritage Foundation - the nonprofit that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell - has provided free Jazz Fest access through a program called Community Outreach Tickets.

Applications are accepted from Louisiana nonprofit organizations that provide direct, ongoing social services to low-income Louisiana residents. The applications are reviewed, and organizations that are awarded tickets in turn distribute them to their low-income clients.

This year, a total of 529 applications were received, of which 504 were approved for the 2018 Jazz Fest. The complete list of organizations awarded tickets is online here.

For comparison, 501 applications were approved (of 524 received) in 2017. In 2016, 527 applications were approved (of 539 received).

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell is one of the major cultural events in the world, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors and generating an annual economic impact on the New Orleans region of more than $300 million. It is virtually unique in the festival industry for being wholly owned by a nonprofit foundation that distributes the proceeds from the festival to the community through year-round programs in education, economic development and cultural enrichment.

Jazz Fest is also unusual in that its ticket prices are lower than most events of a comparable size. For example, tickets to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival average $143 per day. Tickets to the Sasquatch! Festival cost $129 per day. Tickets to Lollapalooza average $120 per day.

With a daily ticket price of $80, Jazz Fest tickets are relatively low. (A new “Locals Thursday” tickets for $50 has been introduced this year.)

By distributing more than 8,500 tickets for free, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation is foregoing more than $680,000 in revenue.

“Jazz Fest is an amazing resource for our community. It’s not only a major showcase for our culture, but it’s also a big driver of our cultural economy,” said Don Marshall, Executive Director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. “It’s important to us as an organization to make sure that we keep the festival as affordable as possible, and to do all we can to help those in the community enjoy the event even if they can’t afford a ticket.”

Community Outreach Tickets are awarded based on strict guidelines. The guidelines are online here. Applications are reviewed by a panel of members of the Board of Directors and Advisory Council of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.

Eligible recipients are:
• Nonprofit organizations within the state of Louisiana that provide community services; must provide proof of federal 501(c) 3 or State of Louisiana nonprofit status
• Religious organizations (with proof of nonprofit status) that provide community services
• Public and nonprofit private schools for grades 9-12 (with proof of nonprofit status)
• Government agencies that provide services to the needy

Organizations not eligible include: 
• Offices of elected officials and their staff members
• Fraternal organizations or other social/benevolent groups that do not provide direct, ongoing social services to low-income individuals
• Business development organizations or associations
• Nonprofits that only provide arts or other educational programming and do not provide direct, ongoing social services to low-income individuals
• Booster clubs or fundraising arms of nonprofit organizations
• Organizations that charge clients a fee or tuition for services

Only social service organizations may apply - not individuals. Any tickets awarded to an applying organization must be used only by their financially-challenged clients. Tickets may not be used by an applying organization's staff, board members, volunteers, donors or guests.

Community Outreach Tickets may not be sold, used for fund-raising or given as gifts or incentives (except in certain cases when tickets may be used by schools as incentives to promote student achievement).

Schools for fourth graders through eighth graders can make arrangements to attend Jazz Fest through a separate program, School Day at the Fest. For information, please call (504) 410-4100 or send an e-mail to kidsday@nojazzfest.com.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation is the nonprofit that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other raised funds, for year-round programs in education, economic development and cultural enrichment.

For more on what we do, visit us online at www.jazzandheritage.org.

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