French Quarter Festival is dedicated to supporting Louisiana’s music community. The festival only contracts local musicians. No matter what style of music you enjoy, you'll find it at French Quarter Festival. French Quarter Festival has over 20 outdoor stages featuring every genre from gospel to jazz, from funk to classical, from Cajun & zydeco to brass band. Over 1,400 musicians will perform at the 2013 French Quarter Festival.
Music performances are made possible by the American Federation of Musicians, New Orleans Local 174-496/ Music Performance Trust Fund, and over 100 entertainment sponsors. This family of entertainment sponsors includes local businesses, music clubs, restaurants, record companies, and private individuals who support New Orleans music.
* What is French Quarter Festival?
* When is the festival?
* How much does it cost to attend French Quarter Festival?
* Where is French Quarter Festival held?
* Where do I park?
* Can I bring my cooler or ice chest?
* Who produces French Quarter Festival?
* Are festival grounds wheelchair accessible?
* How do I volunteer for French Quarter Festival?
* How can I get a job or internship with French Quarter Festivals, Inc.?
* How does my group perform at French Quarter Festival?
* Does French Quarter Festival host an ‘Artists Village’ or crafts area?
* How do I become a food vendor?
* Does the festival have an official tour operator?
* Can I bring my pets to the festival?
The award-winning French Quarter Festival is the South’s largest free music event, a four-day local music showcase throughout the historic French Quarter neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana.
French Quarter Festival features over 400 hours of free live local music from a variety of musical genres on over 20 stages throughout the French Quarter. The community festival also features the ‘World's Largest Jazz Brunch,’ festival food booths operated by some of New Orleans finest restaurants, open throughout festival weekend.
The festival usually falls on the second full weekend in April. Sometimes, Easter will fall on that weekend (and then festival is one week later). Please check with FQFI before making travel arrangements if you are unsure of the exact dates.
- 2013: April 11-14
- 2014: April 10-13
- 2015: April 9-12
- 2016: April 7-10
The four-day weekend festival is FREE and there is no admission fee to attend any of the performances. The only costs are for food, beverage, and merchandise purchases on festival grounds, and certain off-site special events. In order to keep this festival free and open to the public, outside food and beverages are prohibited.
French Quarter Festival is held throughout the historic French Quarter (Vieux Carré) neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana. Music stages are located at Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Bourbon Street, Royal Street, Bienville Street, the French Market, St. Mary’s at the Ursuline Convent, and Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint. ‘World's Largest Jazz Brunch’ booths can be found in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, and Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint. Special events take place at various locations throughout the French Quarter; see listings for details. Also see our map.
A free festival shuttle is sponsored by Capital One Bank (see French Quarter Festival site for details).
New Orleans also has convenient public transportation, including the streetcar and RTA buses.
The festival also provides bicycle parking on the Riverfront in designated areas (ask security officers at the entrances for locations). Please note that bicycles are prohibited on Royal Street and Bourbon Street during the day, while they are designated ‘pedestrian.’ Police officers do issue citations for cycling in these areas during the festival.
Since the festival takes place on public property, the festival does not have designated parking areas. There are many meters and parking lots in the French Quarter and the Central Business District, and all are filled on a first come first serve basis. Parking lots in the French Quarter generally fill up early during special events, such as French Quarter Festival, so arrive early!
French Quarter Festival does not allow coolers, ice chests, or large containers in major festival areas. The free event receives no public funding, and its success and continuation relies heavily upon festival beverage and merchandise revenue. Help keep the festival free by purchasing beverages at the festival! Beer, wine, cocktails, champagne, soft drinks, Gatorade, and bottled water are available at festival beverage booths.
The festival is produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc., a 501(c)3 anon-profit corporation. FQFI has a full-time staff of eight and a volunteer corps of nearly 2,000. The organization also produces other free community events, including Satchmo SummerFest in August and Christmas New Orleans Style in December.
All music stages are wheelchair accessible via the many public sidewalks found throughout the French Quarter.
Please call (504) 522-5730 or click here to learn about our many exciting team and individual volunteer positions. The festival is largely run by volunteers, whose tireless dedication has helped French Quarter Festival to grow.
French Quarter Festivals, Inc. is currently not accepting applications for full-time employment. Undergraduate and graduate students interested in unpaid internships (either for credit or not-for-credit) should send a resume and cover letter to FQFI, 400 N. Peters Street, Suite 205, New Orleans, LA 70130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interns must be dependable and want to work in a fast-paced special events environment.
The festival is a showcase for New Orleans musicians. You must be a local New Orleans musician/band to perform at the festival. The only exceptions made are for Cajun and Zydeco performers from throughout the Louisiana region and for a limited number of international (overseas) groups who perform their interpretation of traditional jazz on the ‘International Stage.’ We are not currently accepting performance requests for national artists from outside Louisiana, performance troupes, or dance teams.
Music performances at the free community festival are made possible in part by the American Federation of Musicians, New Orleans Local 174-496/Music Performance Trust Fund, and by entertainment sponsors, ranging from music venues and restaurants to record companies and private individuals. Please call (504) 522-5730 or email us to learn more about entertainment sponsorship or the music application process.
If you feel your band qualifies as a potential performer, please send a press kit (CD, press release, photo) to FQFI, 400 N. Peters Street, Suite 205, New Orleans, LA 70130. Although press kits are accepted throughout the year, we recommend sending them from August through November.
In order to qualify as a food vendor, you must own and operate a seated restaurant in the French Quarter, New Orleans, or the surrounding areas. Caterers, commercial vendors, or any company from outside of Louisiana are not considered. Restaurants that have more than 3 locations, or are considered a chain or franchise may not be considered. The applications are usually sent in December and each restaurant must go through an application and approval process as set forth by the Jazz Brunch Committee. If you feel your restaurant meets these basic requirements, you may contact us at (504) 522-5730 or email email@example.com to receive information.
In order to qualify as a food vendor, you must own and operate a restaurant in the French Quarter, New Orleans, or the surrounding areas. Caterers, commercial vendors, or any company from outside of Louisiana are not considered. Restaurants that have more than 3 locations, or are considered a chain or franchise may not be considered. The applications are usually sent in December and each restaurant must go through an application and approval process as set forth by the Jazz Brunch Committee. If you feel your restaurant meets these basic requirements, you may contact us at (504) 522-5730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive information.
FQFI does not make recommendations or referrals on tours operators. There are several local companies that offer FQF packages. You may call the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention Visitors Bureau at (504) 566-5011 for general tourism information or visit for a list of tour operators.
Sorry - pets are discouraged and prohibited in most festival areas.