New Orleans Jazz Fest 2017 Diary + Playlist

New Orleans…Where do I even begin? It’s my original hometown although I’ve grown up and spent enough years in New England that I consider myself a New Englander as well. When somebody asks where I’m from I tend to switch back and forth depending on the conversation. There is no doubt I have a connection with this city though. Some of my first solid meals were gumbo, red beans, and jambalaya. I remember Hack, one of the many “French Quarter Characters” playing his trumpet outside of Cafe du Monde as a toddler and later visiting us at our uptown home. I also have fondest memories of my favorite nanny, Jean, dressing me up for high tea at Windsor Court and Ms. Audrey pulling my hair into complex braids and butterfly clips. I tell you I would’ve been a superb southern belle if New England hadn’t happened!

This is my first visit in a long time and my first time exploring the city and Jazzfest as an adult. It’s a new kind of vibe and dance and it took a couple days for me to find my place again. The food is delicious as ever, the people are still sweet as sugar but it’s all more exciting and it feels brand new this time. It’s certainly a contrast from both Boston and Hamburg. New Orleans and its effervescent spirit are hard to capture in photographs but Jazzfest was as bright as ever and the after a couple first days of rainy weather, the sun turned up just in time for the festival. I hope you enjoy this visual experience of Jazzfest, day one. Although the best experience is the one you can hear during this time of year, this is an inkling. It just means you should come down next year! If you follow me on Instagram you got to hear some of the fun as well on my stories. Put on the playlist and enjoy the photographs!

Festival food: crawfish sack, oyster pattie, and crawfish beignets. 

These photos are from Friday and Saturday. We use Friday as our day to get settled into the festival weekend as Saturday is about 3x busier as the lineup was much more star-studded (Stevie Wonder!). We typically set up a little campground in front of the stage we want to be at for the end of the night at the beginning of the day and everyone comes and goes as they please. I was very excited to see Lake Street Dive as I was familiar with them and it was their first time performing at Jazz Fest! They were ah-mazing and I happily turned my entire party onto them as well. One of my favorite things about Jazzfest is that it’s truly for everybody! Young, old, music enthusiast, professional or not, locals and visitors. It’s made for everyone to enjoy and we’re all here to have a good time and soak up the sun. And speaking of sun, if you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories you also saw my killer sunburn after day one. Ouch.

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Comments

  • Ben

    Written on May 9, 2017

    Reply

    This looks absolutely amazing! Would love to visit New Orleans one day 🙂

    • rebecca

      Written on May 9, 2017

      Reply

      It’s definitely worth visiting, Ben! Come with an empty stomach.

      Best,
      Rebecca

  • Sara

    Written on May 10, 2017

    Reply

    This looks like such a great way to spend the weekend! Your photos are incredible, the festival looks magical 🙂

    • rebecca

      Written on May 10, 2017

      Reply

      Thanks for your words Sara, glad you enjoyed it. It was great!

      Best,
      Rebecca

    • rebecca

      Written on May 10, 2017

      Reply

      Thanks, Justine! You should definitely experience Mardi Gras at least once in your life! Such a fun and wonderful time of year.

      Best,
      Rebecca

    • rebecca

      Written on May 10, 2017

      Reply

      Haha, I have a whole other post about the food coming up soon! I completely ruined my diet while here but #worth it!

      Best,
      Rebecca

  • Britani

    Written on May 10, 2017

    Reply

    Absolutely LOVE the pictures! New Orleans is one of the many places I’m dying to visit one day! Nothing better than sunshine and good music!

    • rebecca

      Written on May 10, 2017

      Reply

      Thanks, Britani! It’s really such a unique place and perfect for all of those things. Us northeasterners need a little southern sunshine and charm every now and then! It’s good for the soul.

      Best,
      Rebecca

    • rebecca

      Written on May 10, 2017

      Reply

      I definitely recommend it! I rarely go to music festivals but this is absolutely one of my favorites and it’s such a treat to head somewhere warm this time of year and enjoy the music and the sun. Then when I get back to New England hopefully it’s more springtime ready!

      Best,
      Rebecca

  • Louise

    Written on May 10, 2017

    Reply

    This looks like a great festival. Your photos are amazing, sometimes I feel like pictures can say a lot more than words and looking at yours here, it was like I was there too.

    • rebecca

      Written on May 10, 2017

      Reply

      Thanks, Louise! I definitely feel I can express myself better through my visuals rather than words! I’m glad you got to experience a part of the fest as well.

      Best,
      Rebecca

  • Tatum

    Written on May 11, 2017

    Reply

    What a colorful festival!! I am honestly not the biggest fan of New Orleans but I think the Jazz festival would be awesome to go to! That is so cool you have a playlist to go along with it! I might have to steal that idea haha. Love all the outfits and people having fun!! I just recently went to Shaky Beats Festival here in Atlanta! A blast!

    • rebecca

      Written on May 11, 2017

      Reply

      Ah, I’ll have to look that festival up – I have never heard of Shaky Beats. Thanks, Tatum! Jazz fest is such a good time and I highly suggest you visit – get in the mood with the playlist but it’s nothing like experiencing it in person!

      Best,
      Rebecca

  • Carly Heyward

    Written on May 11, 2017

    Reply

    I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve been all over the south, but never to Louisiana! I was planning on going for Mardi Gras one day, but you’ve got me thinking maybe it should be for jazz festival!

    • rebecca

      Written on May 11, 2017

      Reply

      Mardi Gras is great too but they’re such different events! I find Jazz Fest to be a better event representation of New Orleans overall with the people and the food. Everyone is so warm and friendly and less drunk (still tipsy, but less plastered) than at Mardi Gras ahaha. I do love the marching bands at Mardi Gras though! Just go to both ;D

      Best,
      Rebecca

  • Katie Dickinson

    Written on May 11, 2017

    Reply

    Looks like such a fun event! I like that there seems to be a wide variety of ages – which is awesome. I love festivals in general, but found a correlation between wanting to go to bed earlier and having a lower tolerance for insane festivities lol. I’ve got a ‘US festivals I want to go to ‘ calendar, so I’ll definitely be adding this!

    • rebecca

      Written on May 11, 2017

      Reply

      Haha Jazz Fest doesn’t end this late! I believe it only goes until 7:30-8:00 pm so plenty of time to get to bed! You definitely should add Jazz Fest – what a fun calendar!

      Best,
      Rebecca

    • rebecca

      Written on May 11, 2017

      Reply

      Haha I didn’t indulge as much during Jazz Fest as I had planned! Outside of it though? That’s a whooole other blog post coming.

      Best,
      Rebecca

  • Chloe

    Written on May 11, 2017

    Reply

    I absolutely love jazz but I’ve never been to a jazz festival before! Your photos are amazing, what camera do you use? The outfits all look so cool!

    • rebecca

      Written on May 11, 2017

      Reply

      Thanks, Chloe! It’s such a good time I highly recommend going if you love jazz! Such great music and energy. I used a Canon EOS Rebel T3i for the photographs in this post.

      Best,
      Rebecca

  • Beth

    Written on May 12, 2017

    Reply

    My husband and I are planning on going to this festival next year! We love Festivals Acadiens in Lafayette, LA. So much yummy Cajun food!!!

    • rebecca

      Written on May 12, 2017

      Reply

      You’re going to have such a great time! The lineup is always amazing and it feels good to just soak up the sun and enjoy whoever is on stage. Have a blast and thanks for the festival recommendation!

      Best,
      Rebecca

    • rebecca

      Written on May 12, 2017

      Reply

      Glad you enjoyed the photos, Selma! We had a blast!

      Best,
      Rebecca

  • Felicia

    Written on May 13, 2017

    Reply

    Your photos are incredible!! Reading this gave me such FOMO because I wanted to go soo badly! But your post convinced me, I will be there next year!!

    • rebecca

      Written on May 13, 2017

      Reply

      Yay Felicia! You are going to have such an ah-mazing time!! Hopefully, my photos don’t give you soo much FOMO and you could experience a small part it this year through it. Have a blast! Maybe I’ll see you there? ;D

      Best,
      Rebecca

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