French Quarter Festival (FQF) is a one-weekend annual celebration of New Orleans’ and Lousiana’s local music and cuisine in one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods – the Vieux Carre, or the French Quarter. After almost 40 years, French Quarter Fest has become a favorite of both locals and visitors alike.
One of the major tenets of French Quarter Fest is supporting local artists and businesses, so the music lineup each year is made entirely of local musicians and bands spanning nearly every genre. This year’s acts include:
…and many more! Find the full musical lineup here.
Food is such a quintessential part of French Quarter Fest that, along with announcing its musical lineup, the festival gives an equal amount of fanfare to its culinary stars as well. From neighborhood sno-ball stands to famous fine-dining venues, FQF’s food vendors showcase some of the best local cuisines. A few of the featured culinary vendors include:
…and, of course, many more. Along with water and soft drinks, the fest’s drink lineup features Abita Beer, Bayou Rum, El Jimador Tequila, Finlandia Vodka, Jack Daniel’s, Korbel, and Sonoma-Cutrer. The full food vendor list can be found here.
Spring is a popular vacation time in New Orleans, and French Quarter Fest often falls alongside other events, so the earlier you can book your room, the better. But, don’t worry if you’re a bit behind on hotel reservations, because the festival has adopted the Omni Royal Orleans as its official hotel, and there are lots of great hotels around the city, including plenty inside or within walking distance of the French Quarter.
As a general rule, you’ll find better fares if you fly mid-week – all the better since the festival begins on a Thursday. Even if you arrive before or leave after the festival, there’s plenty to do in the city to pass the time (more on that below!).
No need to worry about missing any sales window or saving up – French Quarter Fest has free general admission! If you’re looking for a VIP experience, the Fest Family Experience gives you access to three exclusive lounges as well as other special perks.
There’s lots of parking around the French Quarter and surrounding areas that will put you within walking distance of the festival. Depending on where you’re staying, you can also take in the sights while you go by taking a streetcar or renting a Blue Bike.
The springtime weather in New Orleans is some of the best of the year. Temperatures average between the low 50s to the upper 70s, so we recommend something light and comfortable to walk in as you traverse the Quarter. Layering is always key, so be sure to pack a sweater or light jacket – preferably a rain jacket so the occasional shower doesn’t catch you off-guard.
Collapsible chairs, blankets, and ground tarps are a great way to take a break and enjoy the music – and your food. Sunscreen and bug spray are also must-haves. Outside food and beverages aren’t allowed, so be sure to bring cash to get your fill of the great food and drinks available (and to help fill the musician’s tip jars).
There are 20 stages spread throughout the French Quarter, each with a variety of local musicians. The stages are located at:
There’s always lots to do around New Orleans and the French Quarter is especially full of unique attractions to pass the time before and after the festival. Be sure to check our site calendar to get the latest on all the events taking place both inside and outside of the Quarter over the weekend!
*Full musical and culinary and musical lineups will be available on the festival website in late March.