French Quarter Festivals, Inc.
400 N Peters, STE 205
New Orleans, LA 70130
Marci Schramm, Executive Director
Phone: (504)522-5730/Cell: (504)452-1946
Rebecca Sell, Marketing Manager
Phone: (504)522-5730/Cell: (504)343-5559
2014 French Quarter Festival Breaks Attendance Records
Locals and visitors from around the world enjoyed the best of New Orleans music, food, and the historic French Quarter
(April 14, 2014) April 10th-13th marked the 31st annual French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron. This year's attendance figures indicate that nearly 733,000* festival-goers enjoyed the music, food, special events, and of course, the historic French Quarter. This marks a significant increase over 2013, when approximately 560,000 fans attended the event.
The 2014 French Quarter Festival featured iPhone and Android phone apps, which were available free of charge, courtesy of GE Capital. Nearly 16,000 iOS users downloaded the festival update from last year's app, and 7,100 iOS users installed the app for the first time. On the Android side, 1,300 users updated from last year's app, and about 2,600 new users installed the app for the first time. This adds up to over 54,000 Festival App users.
Rouses had record sales at French Quarter Festival 2014, selling over 40,000 pounds of boiled crawfish and over 5,000 servings of their Crawfish Boil Boudin. Beers sales were also up: Abita reports 905 kegs (up from 632 in 2013) and over 800 cases of beer. Progressive Waste Solutions has reported 210 tons of garbage from the festival grounds this year, and Pelican Ice delivered 236,160 pounds of ice-- up from 200,000 pounds in 2013.
The award-winning festival, which began in 1984, has grown to become the largest free music festival in the United States. Twenty-one music stages throughout the French Quarter presented the best in New Orleans music, representing every genre from traditional and contemporary jazz to R & B and New Orleans funk, brass bands, folk, gospel, classical, cabaret, opera, Cajun, Zydeco, world music, international, as well as a musical stage for children. Over 115 food and beverage booths located in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Decatur Street, and the Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint made up the "World's Largest Jazz Brunch," a signature event featuring authentic local cuisine from renowned area restaurants, many of whom have been with the Festival throughout its entire 31 year history.
FQFI officials worked with Capital One Bank and Hotard to continue free shuttle service to the festival for a fifth year. Free to ride, Capital One sponsored the 'Second Line Shuttle,' which was routed from the Central Business District to Canal Street Friday-Sunday. To accommodate festival goers Friday through Sunday, the New Orleans Police Department closed down most streets of the French Quarter to traffic - ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for locals and visitors alike. Fest goers enjoyed dancing in the streets at the new Popeyes Brass Band Jam located at the U.S. Mint and the returning Bienville Statue Stage (the Chevron Cajun Zydeco Showcase) and enjoyed the historic neighborhood. Very few events in the City are afforded such a traffic closure. New Orleans Police provided strong support throughout the weekend, alongside Fess, Inc.
French Quarter Festival relies on strong community support to present the 'kickoff to festival season in New Orleans' - with over 2,000 volunteers, over 280 musical acts, numerous generous sponsors - including the New Orleans Musicians Union AFM Local 174-496, corporations from all over the state who sponsor musical acts at festival, New Orleans Police and Fire Departments, EMS, permitting assistance from the City of New Orleans and partnerships with Parks and Parkways, Audubon Institute, and the Louisiana State Museum, among others. New sponsors included GE Capital with Technology in NOLA, Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living, metroPCS with Samsung, Nicoll's Limousine, New Orleans Original Daiquiris, and Steinway & Sons.
Festival goers attended a variety of free special events throughout the weekend, including Dr. John's first FQF appearance since 1987, the return of the Chevron Evening Concert Series, an expanded Film Fest at French Quarter Festival done in partnership with Timecode: NOLA and Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, a lecture series, 'Let them Talk: Conversations on Louisiana Music'; free dance lessons at three stages; two children's areas with music and activities; a Pirate's Alley Juried Art Show; Rouses World Championship Crawfish Eating Contest; Battle of the Bands; a new riverfront picnic area, the NOLA.com Eat Drink Café located on the riverfront Kohlmeyer Lawn, Sunday's 'Dancing at Dusk,' which filled the 400 block of Royal Street and beyond with dancers.
Over 400 guests attended the festival's Opening Night Gala at Antoine's on opening day of Festival. A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Roots of Music.
French Quarter Festival is produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc., (FQFI) the 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, which also produces Satchmo SummerFest in August and Christmas New Orleans Style in December. For more information about any of these events, call (504) 522-5730 or visit http://www.fqfi.org/.
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*Attendance numbers are calculated based on actual counts (that are adjusted down by percentage to account for repeat entrances and exits). Fess, Inc. Security counts at entry and exit points of major stages. This number does not include attendance at the festival's Royal, Bourbon, Chartres, Decatur and French Market stages, Battle of the Bands, Dancing at Dusk, Cathedral Concert, and other special events. The organization is pleased to report record sales of food, beverages and merchandise.