The music never stops in New Orleans, and in May we see major music festivals like the second weekend of Jazz Fest and Bayou Boogaloo. Even if you skip the festivals (though we highly recommend going), you can catch an after-hours show at just about every venue around town. Check out a few live music highlights for the month of May below.  

Music Festivals in May

Justen Williams

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 

Jazz Fest returns from April 29-May 7, and second-weekend headliners include Santana, Leon Bridges, Jon Batiste, Ludacris, Irma Thomas, Dead & Company, The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Trombone Shorts, and more. While we love checking out the big acts on the main stages, one of the best parts of Jazz Fest is wandering into sets by local musicians in the smaller tents and stages. Who knows? You might just find your new favorite musician. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Jazz Fest here. 

Wednesday at the Square 

Wednesday at the Square concludes in May with four shows: The Soul Rebels + Tanya Boyd-Cannon (May 3), Nigel Hall + Miss Mojo (May 10), glbl wrmng + LeTrainiump (May 17), and The Suffers + Trumpet Mafia (May 24). The festival, which is free to attend, is held every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. in Lafayette Square.  

Six of Saturns 

Returning to the Ace Hotel New Orleans is Six of Saturns, a multi-day music event celebrating the collaborative spirit of New Orleans. From April 28-May 7, enjoy live music from the Brass-A-Holics, Yaya Bey, and more at the Ace Hotel’s Three Keys.  


Head to the Broadside for a different type of festival: one that starts at 9 a.m.! On Sunday, May 14, enjoy performances Erica Falls + The Tin Men, plus brunch food and more.

Paul Broussard


Toulouse Theatre  

Toulouse Theatre in the French Quarter has shows every single night after Jazz Fest. Check out Stanton Moore + Ivan Neville + friends on May 4, and Big Freedia on both May 5 and 6. See the full lineup here.  

Tipitina’s Festin’ 2023  

From April 27 – May 8, enjoy Tipitina’s Festin’ 2023 with performances from Anders Osborne, Galactic, North Mississippi Allstars, Dumpstaphunk, and more. Check out the schedule here.   


The 21st Annual Bayou Rendezvous Benefiting the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic 

Held at the Howlin’ Wolf, this benefit concert features performances from John "Papa" Gros, Terence Higgins, Billy Iuso, and many, many more on May 5. 

The Cure 

Following on from their 2022 European concerts, The Cure is extending their Songs of a Lost World Tour to North America, with special guest The Twilight Sad. See the show May 10 at Smoothie King Center. 

Billy Porter 

Grammy, Emmy, and two-time Tony winner Billy Porter brings passion and joy to New Orleans with his first-ever career-spanning pop music concert tour: THE BLACK MONA LISA TOUR: VOLUME 1. Expect a full band backed by a video installation with Billy Porter telling his life story through song.  

LPO: Season Finale 

Catch one final performance from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra before they break for the summer at The Orpheum on May 20.