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Trombone Shorty at Jazz Fest 2015
Trombone Shorty at Jazz Fest 2015
Trombone Shorty at Jazz Fest 2015

The Ultimate Jazz Fest Guide

Jazz Fest returns in 2024 from April 25 - May 5, 2024 

What is Jazz Fest?

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, more commonly referred to as Jazz Fest, is an annual festival celebrating the music, art, culture, and heritage of New Orleans. Over the years, it has worked its way into the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Jazz Fest is slated to return from April 25 - May 5, 2024. 

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2024 Lineup

The Jazz Fest lineup is typically announced every January. But one special musical guest has already been announced: The Rolling Stones! The Rolling Stones will headline Jazz Fest 2024 on Thursday, May 2. See below for ticketing information.

Until the rest of the lineup is released, take a look at the past lineup below to get a taste of the music offerings.

2023 Lineup

The Festival has always blended a wide mix of internationally renowned artists from both Louisiana and the rest of the world. The 2023 lineup includes:

  • Dead & Company
  • Lizzo
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Santana
  • The Lumineers
  • Mumford & Sons
  • Jill Scott
  • Jon Batiste
  • H.E.R.
  • Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
  • Steve Miller Band
  • Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
  • Gary Clark, Jr.
  • Tedeschi Trucks Band
  • Kane Brown
  • Kenny Loggins
  • Leon Bridges
  • Jazmine Sullivan
  • Ludacris
  • Wu-Tang Clan + Soul Rebels
  • Herbie Hancock
  • Mavis Staples
  • Ne-Yo
  • Irma Thomas
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • Buddy Guy
  • Galactic
  • The Revivalists
  • Big Freedia
  • Melissa Etheridge
  • Los Lobos
  • Tom Jones
  • Tank and the Bangas

...and so many more!


When should I book my flight + hotel for Jazz Fest?

Earlier is always better for both fights and hotels. It’s best to book your flight for Jazz Fest before the lineup is announced, but don’t fret if you’re a little late to the game. As a general rule, you’ll find better fares if you fly mid-week. And because Jazz Fest is such a huge celebration in New Orleans, even if you get in a couple of days before the weekend starts or leave in between weekends, you’ll find plenty to do around the city in the week in between.

Great hotel rooms can still be found for this year's fest - so don't worry if you haven't booked yet. Many Downtown hotels run shuttles between hotel lobbies and the fairgrounds, adding an extra layer of convenience. You can check availability, rates, and even book your stay here.

Also new this year, Jazz Fest has announced a special partnership with Expedia that includes a special Jazz Fest travel hub to help streamline booking. Expedia members can also find special discounts and other VIP experiences through the hub.

Paul Broussard
Dancing at the Fais Do Do Stage

About Jazz Fest | 1970 - Today

“The Louisiana Heritage Festival,” was originally conceived by George Wein. He envisioned a daytime fair with multiple stages featuring a variety of local music styles, Louisiana cuisine, arts and crafts and evening concerts. 

The first Jazz Fest took place from April 22-26, 1970 in Congo Square with an all-star lineup that included Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, Fats Domino, Pete Fountain, The Preservation Hall Brass Band, Mardi Gras Indians and many others. Only 350 attended the inaugural event, but that would soon change. 

Today, Wein’s original vision remains the basic premise of the festival, and Jazz Fest welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to the historic Fair Grounds Race Course where it is now held. The festival is now overseen and coordinated by the Jazz & Heritage Foundation as they continue to feature local and international talents on the Jazz Fest platform. 

Now that you know a little more about what Jazz Fest is, a brief history, and the amazing impact it has on the city, I’m sure you’re wondering how to book and navigate a once-in-a-lifetime Jazz Fest experience of your own. Look no further! 

Tickets - when is the best time to buy?

Jazz Fest tickets are available for purchase on the Jazz Fest site a few months prior to the event, or at the gates on any day of the fest. You can find a variety of tickets including, single-day, general admission weekend passes, VIP packages and travel packages. We recommend purchasing tickets in advance as early bird discounts often apply. 

Jazz Fest is scheduled for April 25-28 and May 2-5. The Rolling Stones will headline Thursday, May 2, which will require the purchase of a second weekend 4-day wristband or a day-specific ticket (pending availability). May 2 will have a limited capacity and tickets are expected to sell quickly. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. CT at The 4-day GA, the brand new GA+, and VIP packages will all be available for both weekends. All Jazz Fest tickets are subject to additional service fees and handling charges.  An account with will be required for purchase. Visit for all the ticketing details. 

A limited number of Thursday, May 2 day-specific general admission tickets to see the Rolling Stones and others will be available for purchase by Louisiana residents starting Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 1 p.m. CT and ending on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 10 p.m. CT, while supplies last. Residents with a Louisiana billing zip code will be able to purchase up to 6 tickets. Note: At Jazz Fest 2024, Thursday, April 25 will be the traditional “Locals Thursday.” Tickets will still cost just $50 for Louisiana residents and will be available for purchase at a later date. All of the Festival’s popular VIP packages will go on sale December 1, while supplies last.

VIP packages are weekend-specific and are valid for all three days of the weekend purchased. Jazz Fest offers four distinct VIP opportunities to experience the event in a very special way: GA+ provides access to a  lounge with private restrooms, a full-service bar, and a shaded area to relax; the Festival’s popular Big Chief VIP Experience ticket package provides special viewing access at most of the Festival’s stages; the Grand Marshal VIP Pass allows for up-close access at the three major stages; and the Krewe of Jazz Fest VIP Pass entitles patrons to special covered seating at the Festival Stage audience area.

Because there are a limited number of VIP tickets, you may want to purchase those early. They often sell out. To learn more about ticket packages and to compare them, visit here

Paul Broussard
The Entrance to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

General admission allows access to all performances the day of use, access to the wide range of food, drink and craft vendors, fest exhibits and much more. But please note that food, drink and craft purchases are not covered in the cost of admission.

When will the Jazz Fest lineup be announced? What are Jazz Fest “cubes”?

Jazz Fest's lineup is typically announced in mid-January each year. We post it to as soon as we have it, but you can also find it on the official Jazz Fest website, along with the daily music schedule, often in early April.

Jazz Fest cubes are grid-format schedules that let fest-goers know who will be performing on what day, time and stage over the two-weekend fest. Jazz Fest cubes are announced closer to the festival dates. The cubes will be made available first on the Jazz Fest official website found here and then here on this page once they're released.

Rebecca Todd
Biking in New Orleans

What’s the best way to get around during Jazz Fest?

Jazz Fest is held at the Fair Grounds Race Course in the Gentilly neighborhood. Because of the high traffic volume during Jazz Fest weekend, it’s recommended to utilize public transportation methods such as the RTA Buses. Just $9 can purchase a 3-day pass, which can make traveling to and from Jazz Fest a breeze. The Jackson-Esplanade Bus (91) drops off only a few blocks from the entrance. Personal or bike-shares are also suggested. While bikes are not allowed on fest grounds, there will be a reserved space for securing bikes outside, but get there early, as those spaces tend to fill up quick.  

What accommodations are available for patrons with disabilities?

Jazz Fest welcomes people of all abilities to come out and enjoy the food, music, and culture of the festival. The Access Program’s team is dedicated to ensuring the festival’s accessibility. The Access Center and accommodations throughout the festival are detailed on the access map. Accessible seating is available for those who need it; stop at the Access Center to obtain a wristband on each day you attend. Wheelchairs and medical scooters are permitted at the festival to assist patrons with disabilities. Service animals are permitted. The festival provides ASL interpretation for performances on an as-requested basis. Please visit the Access Center during the festival for a daily schedule of interpreted performances. Alternative formats of the festival program are available at the Access Center. The available alternative formats are in Braille, Large Print, and audio file.

Find more on Jazz Fest accessibility here. For inquiries, please email

What sustainability measures are Jazz Fest taking? 

In 2023, Jazz Fest was awarded the gold certification by the Council for Responsible Sport, earning the festival distinction for their outstanding approach to social, environmental, economic, and community impact. In 2022, the Shell and Jazz Fest Recycling Program diverted 17.56 metric tons of recycling from landfills and composted 4.37 metric tons of food waste. Read more about the certification here. While attending the festival, you can help out by recycling your waste, as well as by participating in the Shell Recycling Reward program, where participants can fill and return Shell-provided bags with recyclable items from throughout the festival grounds. For more information on Jazz Fest's sustainability and recycling initiatives, see here.

What should I wear to Jazz Fest?

Jazz Fest is a unique festival dedicated to and reflective of the culture of the city of New Orleans. Wear something expressive, unique and fun! Do, however, keep in mind that Jazz Fest happens rain or shine! Check the forecast daily and remember that a light rain jacket or boots are never a bad idea. 

Cheryl Gerber
Fest Fashion - New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

What should I bring?

As of 2023, Jazz Fest ticket, food, beverage, craft, and merchandise booths will no longer accept cash payments. For Festivalgoers who come to the event with only cash, the Festival will offer cash exchange booths near key vending locations. Collapsible chairs, blankets and ground tarps are ideal for sitting down and enjoying the concerts throughout the fairgrounds. Sunscreen is also a must. Other than factory-sealed water bottles, no outside food or beverages are allowed upon entry. 

What kind of food can I find at Jazz Fest?

Daily general admission to Jazz Fest includes access to a sea of awesome, local vendors! With two areas dedicated only to food vendors, stands around the fest, a kids food section, and several other special stations - there will be plenty to choose from. Sweet and savory, seafood and sandwiches, and everything in between. Fest vets will swear by the Crawfish Monica, Crawfish Bread, and the Mango Freeze. There are also a number of vegan and vegetarian options throughout the fest. You can find our guide to the very best Jazz Fest food here.

One pro tip is to split several things within your group so that you try even more delicious things. You can also find beer, wine, iced tea, lemonade, and more for sale in different locations throughout the festival. 

Paul Broussard
Congo Square Stage - New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

How many stages are there and what can I expect at each stage?

Jazz Fest has a number of stages and tents dedicated to different genres of music and performances, fest activities and even live demonstrations. The following can be found on fest grounds:

  • Festival Stage - Main Stage 
  • Gentilly Stage - Secondary Main Stage
  • Congo Square Stage - Afro-centric and World Music
  • Blues Tent - Blues Music
  • WWOZ Jazz Tent - Contemporary Jazz Music 
  • Gospel Tent presented by Morris Bart - Gospel Musicians and Performers 
  • Kids Tent - Children's Music and Performances 
  • Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do Do Stage - Cajun & Zydeco Music 
  • Jazz & Heritage Stage - Mardi Gras Indians + Brass Band Performances  
  • Economy Hall Tent - Traditional New Orleans Jazz 
  • Lagniappe Stage - A potpourri of sound and style
  • AARP Rhythmpourium - A small stage (with wine bar) for jazz, blues, rock...and everything in between
  • Cultural Exchange Pavilion - Daily performances from the New Orleans Black Masking Indians. Hear everything from blues and gospel to latin & international sounds
  • Folklife Stage - Located in the Louisiana Folklife Village, where you can see artists & musicians creating in real-time. Celebrate our state's cultural traditions
  • Food Heritage Stage - Located in the Grandstand near the Lagniappe Stage

Another pro-tip: the tents offer shade and misting areas, which are great ways to take a break from the sun while also enjoying world class entertainment. The tent areas also provide seating, so you can give your feet a rest (although resisting the urge to dance isn’t always as easy). 

What should I do during the week in between?

If you’re a true Jazz Fest fanatic and you bought tickets for both weekends, there’s no need to fret about the week in between because there’s plenty to see and do. Spend your week in the neighborhood exploring all that Esplanade Ridge has to offer with this specially curated itinerary. Enjoy restaurants, shops, activities and nightlife. Check out more live music on Frenchmen Street or get inspired here.

For more information on the annual Jazz & Heritage Festival, visit here. Make sure to check our own Ultimate Jazz Fest Guide periodically for updates and new announcements.