Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival @ Lafayette Square, New Orleans [13 October]

Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival


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Lafayette Square
500 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
2017 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival Performance Schedule:

Friday, Oct. 13
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Deacon John's Jump Blues
5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Luther Kent & Trick Bag

Saturday, Oct. 14
St. Charles Ave. Stage
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Robert Cray
4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. John Mooney
2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Samantha Fish
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Guitar Lightning Lee

Camp Street Stage:
5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. Grady Champion
3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. A.J. Ghent
1 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Louis «Gearshifter» Youngblood
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. King Edward

Sunday, Oct. 15
St Charles Ave. Stage
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Bobby Rush
4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Robert Finley
2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Como Mamas
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Andrew Duhon

Camp Street Stage:
5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters
3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Little Freddie King
1 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. The New Soul Finders
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Fortifiers

Grammy winners Robert Cray and Bobby Rush will be among the 18 performers at the 12th annual Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, Oct. 13-15 in New Orleans' Lafayette Square Park. And don't forget the star of the show — barbecue! We've got all the top barbecue restaurants in the region. For the complete music schedule, list of food vendors and other details see below or our web site, Another free event produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.

The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival — winner of the 2016 OffBeat Best of the Beat Award for Best Neighborhood Festival — returns to New Orleans' Lafayette Square Park for its 12th edition Oct. 13-15.

Grammy winners Robert Cray and Bobby Rush will top the bill at the event, which is presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit that owns Jazz Fest. Admission is free.

The expansive food menu features offerings from New Orleans' best barbecue restaurants, including all three of the top winners in the 2017 Gambit Best of New Orleans «best barbecue» category: Blue Oak, the Joint and Central City BBQ, plus many more.

«I've been to many blues festivals in the U.S. and Europe, and I can honestly say that the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival is a charming piece of musical heaven. If you are planning a trip to New Orleans and want to experience the city and its wonderful music without enormous crowds, put this October, free festival on your musical bucket list.»
— Art Tipaldi, Editor, Blues Revue Magazine

All the details are below. But if you want to keep up with the latest news — like tons of videos, audio, photos and other tidbits of info to give you the inside scoop on the festival and all of our performers — tune in to our Facebook page here.

The 2017 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival has a little bit of something for all types of blues fans.

For those who love old-school juke joint style, we’ll present such unsung legends as King Edward, Louis “Gearshifter” Youngblood – both from Mississippi – and Louisiana native Robert Finley, plus New Orleans’ own Little Freddie King.

For fans of deeply soulful gospel, we’ve got the amazing Como Mamas of Como, Mississippi.

For those craving sleek soul, we present a favorite son of New Orleans, Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters. And this year we’re showcasing the New Soul Finders, featuring singer Marilyn Barbarin (of the legendary Barbarin family of New Orleans musicians) and Reggie Scanlon of Radiators fame.

Love fiery guitar burners? You can’t do better than John Mooney, Samantha Fish (a new resident of New Orleans) and local hero Guitar Lightning Lee – who’ll all be at the festival this year.

We’ve got veteran bluesmen like Grady Champion (another Mississippi native), and young upstarts like A.J. Ghent (from Atlanta). We’ve even got some great up-and-coming New Orleans artists, such as Andrew Duhon and the Fortifiers.

And then there are our headliners – Robert Cray, a star ever since he burst onto pop radio with soulful blues in the 1980s, and Bobby Rush (born in Homer, Louisiana), a mesmerizing entertainer who just won his first Grammy award at age 83.

It all kicks off with a big-band party of New Orleans icons: the incomparable Deacon John’s Jump Blues, plus the longtime King of Bourbon Street, Luther Kent & Trick Bag.

It’s a barbecue festival, so of course we’ll have the best assemblage of regional meat smokers to be found anywhere – including most of the hottest new barbecue restaurants that have lit up the New Orleans culinary scene. And, as always, we’ll have a great art market full of one-of-a-kind crafts.

Admission is free. This is, after all, an event produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation – the nonprofit that owns Jazz Fest and uses the proceeds from that world-famous event for free year-round programs in education, economic development and cultural enrichment.

But if you’re looking for that extra bit of comfort and style, we offer our exclusive VIP EXPERIENCE pass, which provides access to premium seating as well as indoor and outdoor hospitality areas with complimentary food and drink. For details, see here.

Arts Market
As always, we will host a huge arts market, with 22 of our best local and regional makers of hand-crafted artworks and home furnishings. We have carefully curated our group of arts market vendors to showcase the finest quality. See the complete list of arts market vendors here.

Food Vendors
Looking for all of the top barbecue restaurants in New Orleans? They'll all be in one place — at our festival! Once again, we're going overboard with a huge spread of great barbecue, representing several regional styles — with a fresh emphasis on Louisiana, since New Orleans has seen a surge in barbecue restaurants (ahem) in the time since we started this event. And yes, it's a barbecue festival — but we will have some options for vegetarians and those who eat gluten-free. See the complete list of food vendors and their menus here.

VIP Experience Passes
To help recoup some of our costs, we put on sale a very limited number of special VIP Experience backstage passes. These provide access to special viewing and seating areas at both stages, a complimentary bar and a deluxe indoor hospitality suite with a balcony view of Lafayette Square, air conditioning, catering and real bathrooms. The VIP Experience passes cost $250 each (plus a service charge of $13.49), and are good for the entire weekend. We do not sell single-day passes. The passes are not transferrable (from one person to another) and all sales are final (no refunds). To order, click here. Note: VIP passes are non-transferrable and non-refundable.

CDs, T-Shirts and Autographs
As in the past, the Louisiana Music Factory will host our merchandise operation. Most of our performers will visit the tent to sign autographs immediately after their performances. We’ll have an official Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival t-shirt available for sale as well.

Keep the Festival Safe and Free: No Outside Food, Beverages or Pets
Like all of our events, the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival is completely free and open to the public — part of the community investment made by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. PLEASE: Except for those with small children or dietary restrictions, please do not bring outside food or beverages to the event — no coolers are permitted.

We realize that Lafayette Square is usually open to pets. But for the safety and comfort of our large audience, we ask that you respect your neighbors and leave your companion animals at home (except for service animals, of course). Thank you.

Please note that we will post donation boxes at all of the entrances to the park — your donations are most welcome and help us to offset our (very significant) costs in producing this free event. If you would like to support the Foundation and help keep this event free, please make the tax-deductible contribution of your choice here

No Smoking
The City of New Orleans has a new prohibition on smoking — which doesn't cover outdoor spaces in most of the city, but it does cover Lafayette Square. So, please, no smoking of cigarettes, cigars or pipes, and no vaping. Thank you.

Public Transit
Lafayette Square is conveniently located along the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line (map) and the Magazine Street (No. 11) bus route (map).

Free Bicycle Parking
In collaboration with our friends at Bike Easy, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting bicycle ridership, we’re offering free valet bicycle parking. Please ride your bike to the event, knowing that it’ll be safe and secure – and you won’t have to hassle with locking it to a telephone pole or worrying about somebody stealing your tires or seat.

There is parking in the Poydras Center (650 Poydras Street) for a flat fee, as there is at many other street-level parking lots in the area.

On the Radio
Community radio station WWOZ 90.7 FM will broadcast much of the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival live from Lafayette Square – over the air and in streaming video at

No-Chairs Perimeter
Due to the heavy use of camp chairs by many fans in close proximity to our stages, we are forced to institute a «no chairs» perimeter of 75 feet from both stages. We appreciate that many of you like to bring chairs to the festival and set up camp in front of the stages. But this prevents many of our other guests from having the opportunity to get a closer look at the onstage action. We thank you in advance for your understanding.

ADA Access
We provide reserved areas at both stages for our guests who use wheelchairs. And — new this year — we have a special deck with views of both stages reserved for our guests in wheelchairs. There is an ADA drop-off area on Camp Street where vehicles carrying passengers with special needs may unload. All of our food booths will have serving counters at a height of 32-inches. We also provide ADA compliant toilets in all three of our locations for Port-O-Lets (at the corners of Camp and North Maestri streets, Camp Street and South Maestri streets, and St. Charles at South Maestri). The ADA toilets are kept locked for cleanliness; to access them, please visit our Foundation Information booth and we'll provide you with the key or combination, or ask any of the greeters who are seated at the donation boxes at six entry points around the park.

No Recording
Please, no audio or video recording of any performances at the festival.

The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival is a presentation of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other funds, for year-round programs in the areas of education, economic development and cultural events. For more about the Foundation and what we do, visit us online at
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