Here’s How To Prepare For New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

We’re just a few weeks away from New Orleans annual Jazz & Heritage Festival, a two-weekend celebration of music and culture. This year, the festival expanded to eight days, and the anticipation is growing, drawing in music aficionados from across the globe to immerse themselves in a collection of sounds, flavors, and cultures. With a lineup that includes Kem, Jon Batiste, Fantasia, and Chris Stapleton, festival goers are in for a treat.

However, this year the festival is taking it to the next level this year: Expedia has been named as the Official Travel Partner for the 2024 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, to help enhance the experience of Jazz Fest enthusiasts visiting New Orleans. For trip planning, Expedia has rolled out the Jazz Fest travel hub, a comprehensive array of city guides, essential travel tools, and exclusive perks tailored for One Key members. These benefits include discounted hotel accommodations, access to special giveaways, and VIP experiences, ensuring travelers make the most of their time in the vibrant city of New Orleans.

As the festival draws near, excitement builds, especially among One Key members who have the chance to win exclusive tickets to Expedia’s Global Jam, a star-studded event featuring Grammy-winning artists Anderson .Paak and Tank and the Bangas, set against the backdrop of the Jazz Fest’s first weekend.

Here’s How To Prepare For New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – MAY 07: Trombone Shorty of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue performs during the 52nd annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at Fair Grounds Race Course on May 07, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage)

For those still seeking accommodations, there are a few remaining available stays for Jazz Fest, including the VIP access International House Hotel in the Central Business District and the highly rated Le Méridien New Orleans, conveniently located near the bustling Caesars New Orleans Casino and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Additionally, the NOPSI Hotel, The Eliza Jane provides and the revitalized Kimpton Hotel are a few other excellent options for festival goers seeking comfort and convenience.

Before diving into the festivities, it’s essential to explore the city’s vibrant music scene. From the eclectic sounds of The Music Box Village to the legendary performances at The Howlin’ Wolf, there’s no shortage of venues to experience the sound of New Orleans. Breakaway’s R&B in the Bywater/Marigny neighborhood offers a taste of local talent, while The Rabbit Hole promises an eclectic dance club experience unlike any other. For those seeking a more laid-back vibe, Treme Hideaway offers a cozy atmosphere with hip-hop beats and local brass talent, while The Tigermen Den infuses its performances with the spirit of a house party, creating an unforgettable experience for all who enter.

Of course, no visit to New Orleans is complete without indulging in its legendary culinary scene. From Parkway Poorboys to the French Quarter’s Sylvain, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Award-winning chef Serigne Mbaye of Dakar Nola is a must-stop, and if you’re looking for an authentic taste of New Orleans cuisine, the Mosquito Supper Club and Jacques-Imo’s should be on your list.

As for attractions, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in the Big Easy. Take a ride on the St. Charles Streetcar for a leisurely tour of the city’s historic neighborhoods, or embark on a Honey Island Swamp Tour to explore the region’s unique wildlife. For history buffs, a visit to The National WWII Museum offers a poignant glimpse into the past, while an evening cruise on a steamboat paddle wheeler provides a memorable way to end the day.

As for what else to look forward to, the festival grounds sprawl across the verdant expanse of New Orleans’ Fair Grounds Race Course, transformed into a bustling hub of music and culture. Tents adorned with vibrant colors line the pathways, offering a cornucopia of culinary delights that pay homage to the city’s rich culinary heritage. From savory gumbo and spicy jambalaya to sweet beignets dusted with powdered sugar, every bite tells a story.

The sounds of jazz emanate from every corner, drawing festival goers towards the various stages scattered throughout the grounds. Under the canopy of ancient oak trees, legendary musicians take to the stage. From the smooth melodies of jazz to the iconic grooves of funk, each performance is a celebration of New Orleans’ musical heritage.

For those seeking respite from the sun-drenched melodies, the Cultural Exchange Pavilion offers a sanctuary of reflection and discovery. Here, artisans showcase their craft, weaving intricate baskets, sculpting clay figurines, and painting vibrant canvases that capture the essence of New Orleans.

As the sun begins to set, the festival takes on a new energy, as the night comes alive with the sounds of live music echoing through the city streets. From intimate jazz clubs to lively brass band parades, the spirit of New Orleans permeates every corner, inviting revelers to dance, sing, and celebrate late into the night.

But beyond the music and merriment lies a deeper truth – that the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is more than just a celebration of sound; it speaks to the resilience of a city that has endured hardship and triumphed through adversity. It is a reminder that in the face of challenges, music has the power to both heal and unite.

New Orleans jazz Fest opens April 25. For more information and tickets, visit

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