French Quarter Fest Adds More Music, Food

Data News Weekly Edited Report

Known as the world’s largest showcase of Louisiana music, food, and culture, the French Quarter Fest returns for 2019. The April 11th – 14th weekend will bring a record number of debuts, headliners, a new riverfront stage, eight restaurant debuts, more than 1,700 Louisiana musicians—and even some recycling. Android and iPhone users can install the updated FQF app to access the schedule, culinary lineup, maps, and whatever else is needed to plan their trip.

Thanks to the expanded Chevron Evening Concert Series, festival-goers can expect more headliners on the music front. The Chevron Stage will feature more nightly genres, in addition to the Cajun/Zydeco music it is known for. A new venue, the Pan-American Life Insurance Group Stage, will bring music to a newly renovated Moonwalk on Saturday and Sunday. The Jones Walker Let Them Talk Stage at the Jazz Museum will provide guests a rare chance to hear artists speak about their life in music.

2019 brings a record number of 48 debuts, including Galactic on the Abita Beer Stage. Debuts on the Festival’s Street Stages include Sweet Olive String Band on the Hancock Whitney Stage, Doro Wat on the Dorignac’s Food Center Stage, and Keith Burnstein’s Kettle Black on the Caire Hotel & Restaurant Supply Stage. In addition, the Dow Chemical Stage will feature two-days of traditional jazz in the 500 block of Bourbon Street.

In Jackson Square, the Hilton Stage returns with an all-star lineup of New Orleans’ most respected artists and culture- bearers including Ellis Marsalis, John Boutté, Leroy Jones, Shannon Powell, Robin Barnes, and James Andrews. The riverfront Abita Beer Stage brings four days of music, while the GE Stage returns with every genre from Funk to Gospel; artists include Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Corey Henry & the Treme’ Funktet, and Paul Sanchez and the Rolling Road Show. Artists on the Jack Daniel’s Stage include Brass-A-Holics, Lena Prima, and Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers. At the Tropical Isle Stage, the lineup includes a Sunday morning Gospel performance from Betty Winn and One-A-Chord. At the Jazz Museum at the Mint, The Original Pinettes Brass Band, Treme’ Brass Band, Hot 8 Brass Bands, and nearly a dozen more will be featured Friday-Sunday on the Louisiana Fish Fry Stage, and the WWL-TV Stage brings three days of music from crowd favorites like Benny Grunch and the Bunch, Creole String Beans, and Margie Perez.

Walking around is bound to make festival goers hungry, so be sure to check out the 65+ restaurants FQF has provided, including the eight new vendors. Thanks to Broussard’s Restaurant and Courtyard, attendees have the opportunity to sample the most famous New Orleans dishes. This year FQFI welcomes culinary debuts Café Maspero, Dorignac’s Food Center, Landry’s Seafood, Messina’s at the Terminal, Morrow’s, New Orleans School of Cooking, Rizzuto’s Ristorante & Chop House, Sweet Handkraft, and We Dat’s Chicken and Shrimp; Tails to Geaux: Benefitting the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation with boil crawfish Friday – Sunday at the Jazz Museum at the Mint. Abita Beer returns as a major sponsor of the festival; this year the local brewing company brings favorites including Amber, The Boot (a Louisiana exclusive), Strawberry, Hop-on, and Purple Haze. There is also a new Wine Cafe at Washington Artillery Park. Other beverage debuts include Sonoma-Cutrer Rosé, Korbel Brut Rosé, and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye. Bubly will also return as a non-alcoholic option.

Festival organizers have also announced a program that will allow attendees to recycle plastics and cans during FQF. The 2019 French Quarter Festival will also focus on improved access to make the event more inclusive. A new partnership with KultureCity will bring a Sensory Inclusive Program to the event, designed to help guests with sensory needs like Autism, PTSD, and more. The center will be staffed with professionals and work in tandem with the new ADA Info Booth and Services sponsored by Aetna Better Health of Louisiana. By implementing these new programs, FQFI aims to help ensure an enjoyable and safe festival experience for all.

FQF also provides some family fun. The Chevron STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Zone will be returning to the Natchez Wharf at the foot of Toulouse Street at the River on Saturday, April 13th and Sunday, April 14th. The 2019 theme is STEM World’s Fair, and will showcase the seven continents and galaxy, while incorporating the elements of STEM into hands-on learning activities for children. Chevron will collaborate with many organizations in the community for FQF, such as: STEM NOLA’s physics, science, chemistry, and math in action, where children will create a fire breathing dragon and test the density of a boat; at Rebuilding Together’s an area kids will model ancient objects, such as pyramids utilizing pre-made slime; and at Fab Lab NOLA’s Station, kids will fabricate their own miniature Eiffel Towers and also help to build a 5-foot-tall acrylic model. Other partners include Audubon Nature Institute, Children’s Museum of St. Tammany, The Water Institute, Project Lead the Way, The Nature Conservancy, WWII Museum, Mad Science LA, and National Park Service.

Last but not least, after a good time, attenders can commemorate their experience with some new look merchandise. Attendees can represent the festival with styles like the Big Easy Camp, a black herringbone textured short sleeve camp shirt featuring festival icons; the More Jazz Dolman puts a unique twist on souvenir apparel with a fashion-forward way. New items like the Fleur Tumbler, branded wine cups, and ornaments will also debut at festival merchandise booths in 2019. More information and styles can be found on the website.

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Elise Schenck Data News Weekly Contributor Lynn Whitfield is a Baton Rouge native, the Emmy Award-Winning Actress who’s been recognized for
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