Break out the party hats. Clink your glasses in celebration. 2015 marks the 32nd anniversary of the French Quarter Festival.
Back in 1984, this music event began as a small, neighborhood festival that organizers hoped would lure local residents back to the French Quarter. Today, it has grown to host more than half a million locals and out-of-town visitors.
There's much to love about this longtime festival favorite, like its 23 stages and 400-plus hours of live entertainment. But a large part of its popularity is due to its price tag—it's absolutely free to hear all of that outstanding music! It is known as the South's largest free music festival.
April 9-12, 2015
The festival takes place throughout the French Quarter, with stages and events between Bourbon Street and the Mississippi Riverfront, spanning from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue.
You won't believe the variety of music you'll hear at this festival, from traditional jazz to New Orleans funk and classical to zydeco. Here are a just a few of the notable artists performing this year: Amanda Shaw, Charmaine Neville, The Dukes of Dixieland, Irma Thomas, New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings and so, so, so many more. Get the full line up here.
Though the event is free, you definitely want to bring your wallet to enjoy the amazing festival foods. Make sure you visit each of the food and beverage zones to eat the best of the best from New Orleans. Vendors will be located in Jackson Square, Jax Lot, the Riverfront Areas and the Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint. Feast on cochon de lait po'boys, boiled crawfish and snoballs. Sip on Abita Beer, Pat O'Brien's Hurricanes and more. This is a great opportunity to sample a variety of New Orleans' best dine-in restaurants, like Galatoire's, Broussard's, Antoine's and Court of Two Sisters. More than 60 food vendors will be on hand.
Along with dozens of new acts, 2015 welcomes Allen Toussaint to the festival. Toussaint is one of the most influencial figures in New Orleans R&B and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011. Catch Toussaint on Thursday, April 9 at 3:45 p.m. on the Abita stage. Get there early to hear the Rebirth Brass Band and stay after Toussaint's performance to hear the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Get the full music line up.
Check out the free dance lessons at the French Market Traditional Jazz Stage, the Cajun Zydeco Stage and the Children's Stage.
Get the free French Quarter Festival app, available for iPhone and Android. Receive up-to-the-minute announcements, music schedules, menus, shuttle information and more.
Search our listings for a variety of affordable New Orleans accommodations.