The music never stops in New Orleans, and the return of major festivals like Jazz Fest and Bayou Boogaloo are testament to that. 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 after two long years with an all-star lineup of performers, including The Who, Stevie Nicks, Jimmy Buffet & the Coral Reefer Band, Luke Combs, Lionel Richie, The Black Crowes, Willie Nelson, Erykah Badu, and more. It all kicks off on April 29 and continues through May 8 at the Fairgrounds Racecourse. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Jazz Fest here. Tickets start at $80 (although anyone with a Louisiana ID can score $50 tickets on Thursday, May 5 for Local’s Thursday). 

Wednesday at the Square

We love Wednesday at the Square for many reasons: it’s a fundraiser for the Young Leadership Council, it features great local musicians and vendors, it’s free to attend, and it’s held every hump day, like a balm for your midweek blues. The 2022 spring series kicks off at Lafayette Square on March 16 and concludes on May 18. The lineup for May includes Shamarr Allen + Margie Perez (May 4), Andrew Duhon + Alexis and the Samurai (May 11), Big Sam's Funky Nation + Erica Falls (May 18), and Mia Borders + The Quickening (May 25). 

Six of Saturns

Returning to the Ace Hotel New Orleans is Six of Saturns, an 11-day music event celebrating the collaborative spirit of New Orleans. From April 28-May 8, enjoy live music from the Brass-A-Holics, Jon Cleary, and more at the Ace Hotel’s Three Keys. 

BreakFest

Head to the Broadside for a different type of festival: one that starts at 8 a.m.! On Sunday, May 8, enjoy performances from Gabrielle Cavassa, Sam Doores, and Andrew Duhon, plus poetry readings from Cubs the Poet, and yoga accompanied by Radio Bird Quartet. Tickets start at $25.   

Paul Broussard

Jazz Fest After Hours Shows

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4

The Radiators

Civic Theater

Local rock band The Radiators take on the Civic in the week between Jazz Fest weekends.  

FRIDAY, MAY 6

Preservation Hall: 60th Anniversary Celebration

Orpheum Theater

It’s a show you just can’t miss - Preservation Hall celebrates its 60th anniversary, a previously rescheduled show now set to coincide with Jazz Fest’s jubilant return. 

Nolafunk & Live Nation Present Allman Betts + Tab Benoit + Samantha Fish

The Fillmore

Catch this set from Allman Betts, Tab Benoit, and Samantha Fish at The Fillmore.

Justen Williams
Big Freedia

Saturday, May 7

Big Freedia

Republic

The Queen of Bounce herself will play a hometown show at Republic the second weekend of Jazz Fest. 

Poppa Funk & The Night Tripper & Trouble No More

The Fillmore

Another group of all-star local musicians take the stage at The Fillmore, this time to pay tribute to Art Neville and Dr. John, who both passed away in 2019.

Throughout Jazz Fest

Tipitina’s

Throughout Jazz Fest, Tipitina’s has music every night, with local musicians Anders Osbourne, Galactic, and Tank and the Bangas, plus Trombone Shorty’s annual “Shorty Fest.”

For more shows during the week of Jazz Fest, check out our Jazz Fest After Hours page here. and be sure to check out the Nolafunk series during Jazz Fest.

More Music this Month

Bleachers @ The Fillmore

Catch Jack Antonoff’s indie pop band, Bleachers, live from The Fillmore in this high-energy show on Friday, May 20.

Bright Eyes @ The Orpheum

Rock band Bright Eyes plays the Orpheum with special guest Hurray for the Riff Raff on Monday, May 23.
 
For even more music, visit the WWOZ LiveWire Music Calendar.