Music Festivals in New Orleans

Wednesdays at the Square: March 11-May 27, 2015

Spread a blanket out on the  grass of Lafayette Square and rub elbows with the after-work crowd while seeing live performances and watching the sun set. For 12 weeks in the spring and early summer, discover what "WATS" is all about and from September to November, experience "Harvest the Music." These festivals offer free outdoor concerts from 5-8 p.m., rain or shine. 

Buku Music + Art Project: March 13-14, 2015

A newer event to the New Orleans festival scene is the 3rd annual BUKU Music + Art Project, a progressive music and arts festival featuring local and national artists such as The Flaming Lips, David Guetta, Ellie Goulding and more. Located at Mardi Gras World, the festival also offers the BUKU Graffiti Wall, indigenous art exhibits, local cuisine and a unique VIP section on a historic steamboat on the Mississippi River. Visit the website for more information on this 18+ event. 

Congo Square/New World Rhythms Fest: March 21-22, 2015

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation presents the seventh annual Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival in Armstrong Park. This free event celebrates the cultural diversity of New Orleans and the melting pot of traditions that gave rise to our unique music. Featuring the music and dance of Africa, the Caribbean, the American Gulf South and beyond in this two-day, family-friendly festival. 

French Quarter Festival: April 9-12, 2015

This is the largest free music festival in the South with a special focus on New Orleans' music and food. The festival offers 20 performance stages and more than 90 food and beverage booths set among one of the countries most historic neighborhoods. Kids' activities, home tours and other festivities fill the weekend with fun. 

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell: April 24-May 3, 2015

For more than 40 years, music lovers from around the globe have made the pilgrimage to the historic Fair Grounds Race Course for a lineup that reads more like a who's who of music legends than an event flyer. The music is phenomenal and the food is inspirational. An event worthy of the birthplace of jazz. 

Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo: May 15-17, 2015

From jazz and blues to Cajun and country, three days of free live music bring more than 20,000 people to the banks of the Bayou Saint John each year. Catch performances from local Louisiana artists and take part in festival events including the Rubber Duck Derby, dance lessons and the Bicycle Pub Crawl. 

Cajun & Zydeco Festival: June 6-7, 2015

The legendary Buckwheat Zydeco will make a return appearance to the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival at Louis Armstrong Park. Also performing will be the world-famous BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet featuring special guest Jo-El Sonnier.  

Essence Music Festival: July 3-5, 2015

"Party with a purpose" at this star-studded celebration of African American music and culture in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Jazz up your July with performances by the world's biggest hip-hop, R&B and soul artists, with Usher, Mary J. Blige, Common and Indie.Arie headlining. 

San Fermin in Nueva Orleans (Running of the Bulls): July 9-12, 2015

San Fermin in Nueva Orleans (SFNO) is an annual festival in New Orleans featuring an Encierro (bull run), which replicates and pays homage to the world famous Encierro of Pamplona, Spain, better known as "The Running of the Bulls", only our bulls are none other than members of the Big Easy Rollergirls and select participants from other rollerderby leagues across the country! 

Satchmo Summerfest: July 30-August 2, 2015

Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong is one of New Orleans' favorite native sons (and there are many to pick from). Each year, this weekend-long festival celebrates his life, legacy and music. The festivities include a seminar series, jazz exhibits, a jazz mass and second-line parade, fantastic food and a host of star-studded performers. 

Soul Fest: August 6-8, 2015 

Celebrate the wonderful legacy of African American food, music and culture that we've all come to know as soul food and soul music. More than 20,000 people flock to the Audubon Zoo to see live musical performances by local Jazz, Rhythm & Blues and Gospel artists at our Capital One Stage! Arrive hungry because there's tons of food with southern flair, including fried Louisiana alligator kabobs, pork chops po-boys and sweet potato pies. 

Crescent City Blues & BBQ: October 16-18, 2015

Two things synonymous with the South: blues and barbecue. Find the best combination of both at the free festival presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Inc. in Lafayette Square Park. Get a spot next to the stage to see the headliners up close. 

Voodoo Music Experience: October 30-November 1, 2015

Only the coolest take to the stage at this Halloween-themed festival in City Park, known for its blending of high-profile national artists such as Marilyn Manson, 50 Cent, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Duran Duran, Nine Inch Nails, R.E.M. and 311, with local Louisiana musicians including The Original Meters, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, and Dr. John.