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Celebrating 40 Years of Music and Culture: A Guide to the French Quarter Fest in New Orleans

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Celebrating 40 years French Quarter Fest 2024 New Orleans

It’s no secret New Orleans is all about music. The city boasts one of the world’s most dynamic live music scenes. It’s a place that cares deeply about family, food, traditions, and, perhaps most importantly, about making a lovely noise. A display for all of this is the iconic French Quarter Fest, which has become one of the most anticipated celebrations in the state.

And the best bit? It’s entirely free! If you’re thinking about a vacation in New Orleans during the annual spring event, here’s what you should know.

The History Behind the Festival

The French Quarter Fest has been an important part of New Orleans’ culture and history for 40 years. It all began in 1984 when the Vieux Carre underwent a significant street revitalization project. After the construction, the mayor announced that a festival would take place in the streets as a way of bringing back residents and visitors. 

Since then, the French Quarter Fest has been celebrated every year and is now considered the largest free music festival in the South. In fact, many travellers visit New Orleans only to participate in the exciting four-day festivities.

What Happens in the Event?

The French Quarter Fest, at its core, is all about good music and delicious food. Over the course of the 40 years, thousands of local musicians have graced its stages in almost every genre – from classical to jazz and R&B. That’s also what makes the festival so special – no matter what your musical taste is like, you’ll surely find a concert to your liking.

But if you aren’t a music enthusiast, no worries! There are plenty of other wonderful experiences to be had, too! As you can expect, food plays an important role in the festivities. In fact, the festival is sometimes nicknamed ‘The World’s Largest Jazz Brunch’. 

All around the French Quarter, you’ll find more than 75 different food and beverage booths that offer mouthwatering local cuisine. If you’ve ever wondered what boudin egg rolls, seafood-stuffed mirliton, or ‘crawfish boil’ pickles taste like, this is your chance to find out!

2024 Lineup

This year, the French Quarter Fest will be held between April 11 and 14, just when the city is in full bloom for spring. During these days, you’ll be treated to a number of fantastic musical performances from musicians and bands like:

  • Ivan Neville
  • DJ Raj Smoove
  • Big Freedia
  • Irma Thomas, Soul Queen of New Orleans
  • Chapel Hart Band
  • Partners N Crime
  • TBC Brass Band ft. HaSizzle
  • Teedra Moses
  • Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience
  • The Original Pinettes Brass Band with Mia X
  • DJ Kelly Green
  • John Boutté

…and more! To see the full list, click here.

The French Quarter Fest is one of the rare festivals in the world that, along with announcing its musical lineup, gives an equal amount of love to its culinary providers. This April, your taste buds will be well taken care of by:

  • Broussard’s
  • Patton’s
  • Landry’s Seafood
  • Tujague’s
  • Parish Seafood
  • Fritai

…and other excellent food stars.

What Are the Best Places to Stay in New Orleans During the French Quarter Fest?

To fully enjoy the French Quarter Fest, comfortable accommodation is key. At Book NOLA, we offer carefully curated vacation rentals in New Orleans that will allow you to immerse yourself in the local culture, wonderful French & Spanish-inspired architecture, and all the small parts that make the city so magical.

Keep in mind that spring is a popular vacation time in Crescent City, so the earlier you book your short-term rental in New Orleans, the better. On our website, you’ll find several vacation rentals in all the best neighborhoods. But when looking where to stay in New Orleans during the festival, we suggest picking one of our accommodations within walking distance of the French Quarter. You can have a look at all the options here.

Ending Notes

From the start, New Orleans music has been about creating something uniquely funky. The French Quarter Fest is no exception. If you’re planning a New Orleans vacation, it’s an event you don’t want to miss! But don’t just take our word for it. Choose our Book NOLA vacation rentals, and experience the fabulous music, delicious food, and captivating atmosphere the city is so well known for yourself! To learn more about all there is to do and see in Crescent City, make sure to follow our blog.

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