29th anniversary celebration to deliver new kinds of fun for festivalgoers
Tourism officials call French Quarter Festival ‘the kickoff to festival season in New Orleans,’ and what started as a neighborhood festival and a ‘locals event’ has grown into one of the largest music festivals in the United States. The 2011 French Quarter Festival hosted over 500,000 local and out-of-town visitors and had an economic impact of over $245 million. ‘Locals’ Lagniappe Day’ was launched in 2011 and French Quarter Festival officially became a four-day event. In 2012, there is even more festival to enjoy, with extended hours on opening day, Thursday, April 12. And, next year brings the 30th anniversary of this exciting and beloved festival.
Remaining dedicated to New Orleans Music and our Musicians
On twenty (of its twenty-one) music stages, only Louisiana artists are featured (the festival hosts one ‘International Stage’ where traditional jazz bands from all over the world perform.) Part of the great appeal of French Quarter Festival is that attendees get a true and authentic New Orleans experience – locals and visitors can hear a broad range of artists and a diverse variety of musical styles and genres. French Quarter Festival is committed to keeping Traditional Jazz alive, and features New Orleans’ finest artists throughout the four days of festival, on stages all over the French Quarter. A new music stage has been added in 2012, bringing the total to twenty-one. A Cabaret Stage debuts at this year’s festival and will have its home at the beautifully renovated Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone. The Hotel Monteleone is a sponsor of the festival and its ‘official hotel’.
French Quarter Festivals, Inc. recently launched the Musician Sponsorship Program, in which the community was invited to ‘adopt an artist’ at French Quarter Festival. The response has been incredible and corporations, foundations and individuals from all over the United States – from Minneapolis to Maryland – have joined the program and are helping to keep French Quarter Festival FREE for the community, as it remains one of the largest music festivals in the United States. The 2012 French Quarter Festival will feature over 800 local artists. The musician program will continue to seek sponsorships.
2012 French Quarter Festival – little changes that will make a big difference!
The festival has added a full, fourth day – dubbed ‘Locals’ Lagniappe Day.’ The festival opens Thursday, April 12 from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. in Jackson Square (one stage) and Woldenberg Riverfront Park, with four stages. New Orleans’ finest restaurants –otherwise known as ‘The World’s Largest Jazz Brunch’ will be serving classic New Orleans dishes throughout the festival.
In partnership with Applitite, the French Quarter Festival iPhone App is back, along with a new DROID App – and this year it is FREE, courtesy of Capital One Bank. Fans can receive up to the minute announcements, downloadable music schedules, complete menus, special events, merchandise updates, shuttle information and unique offers to enhance their festival experience. The application will be available for download in March, prior to French Quarter Festival.
The Capital One Bank Second Line Shuttle is growing with the French Quarter Festival audience! A sixth bus will be added to help transport local fans to the festival Friday through Sunday. Parking will be offered in the Central Business District along O’Keefe Street for just $10 per day and the shuttle ride is FREE, courtesy of Capital One Bank.
Fireworks are back! 2012 brings the return of the beloved fireworks display on the Mississippi River – last seen at French Quarter Festival in April 2005 (pre-Katrina). This major sponsorship is courtesy of Tropical Isle, a long time participant and friend of French Quarter Festival. The elaborate show will begin at 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 14. Local fireworks producer Pyrotecnico will produce the show for French Quarter Festivals, Inc.
In 2011, New Orleans food critic, radio host, and author – Tom Fitzmorris – called French Quarter Festival’s World’s Largest Jazz Brunch one of the top three food events in New Orleans (the other two are the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience and FQFI’s Reveillon menus). In recognition of the major food event that the festival has become, local award-winning author Kit Wohl tipped her hat by doing a special edition of her new book New Orleans Classic Brunches especially for French Quarter Festival. In the book, Wohl features Jazz Brunch restaurants – with beloved local recipes, cocktails and lore. The special-edition signed and numbered book will be on sale at French Quarter Festival. A portion of the sales will benefit the non-profit French Quarter Festivals, Inc.
The ever-popular Children’s Headquarters will be expanded for 2012. Festival-goers can enjoy two completely different familyfun experiences on Saturday and Sunday: The newest addition is the beautiful courtyard of the Hermann-Grima House, located at 820 St. Louis Street. Major local museums will offer fascinating and fun hands-on activities. In addition, young visitors will learn how to churn butter, tend a garden, and more. Built in 1831, Hermann-Grima House is one of the most significant residences in New Orleans. Its courtyard garden boasts the only horse stable and functional 1830s outdoor kitchen in the French Quarter. The outdoor hearth kitchen, with its view of the antique roses, citrus and parterre gardens, provides a dynamic experience for visitors. Families can also enjoy a riverfront kids area at the Audubon Aquarium Riverfront Plaza, made possible in part through an exciting partnership with Chevron, Tulane Hospital for Children and the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park. Anchoring the riverfront Children’s Headquarters is a Kids’ Performance Tent with live music.
French Quarter Festivals, Inc. works closely with New Orleans Police and a private security company (FESS, Inc.) to ensure that visitors have a safe an enjoyable experience at French Quarter Festival. New for 2012, the festival is pleased to welcome the New Orleans Guardian Angels Bike Team to French Quarter Festival. Bike teams will patrol the French Quarter and Riverfront and will also provide EMS support. Guardian Angels work closely with the New Orleans Police Department.
The TGIF ‘Thank Goodness it’s Festival!’ kickoff fundraiser takes place Wednesday, April 11, from 6-9 p.m. at the House of Blues, with Jon Cleary and the Philthy Phew in the Music Hall and Traditional Jazz in the VooDoo Garden.
Strong partnerships are a major part of French Quarter Festival
In order to keep French Quarter Festival free and open to the public, the organization relies heavily on the contributions of sponsors and partners, beverage and merchandise sales, and vendor fees. For 2012, the festival is thrilled to welcome back Capital One Bank, as Presenting Sponsor.
In collaboration with BMI, French Quarter Festival welcomes back for its third year the BMI Singer Songwriter Stage at The Historic New Orleans Collection on Royal Street. Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI) is an American performing rights organization that represents more than 400,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music and more than 6.5 million works. On Saturday and Sunday of the festival, the BMI Songwriter Stage will feature the region’s finest up-and-comers.
2012 also welcomes the return of dance lessons at the French Market Traditional Jazz Stage; Zydeco dance lessons at the Cajun Zydeco Riverfront Stage; and second line dance lessons in the Children’s Headquarters near Audubon Aquarium. Between musical breaks, festival patrons are invited to learn traditional dance-styles such as the Charleston, Swing, Zydeco and Second-line. Instructors from NOLA Jitterbugs will demonstrate and educate visitors on these various dance styles.
Festival Sponsors for the 29th annual French Quarter Festival as of February 9, 2012 include: Capital One Bank (Presenting Sponsor), Abita Brewing Company, WWL-TV, Tropical Isle, Rouses Market, Harrah’s Foundation, French Market Corporation, Chevron, New TUMS Freshers, Louisiana Office of Tourism, City of New Orleans, Brown Foundation, Musician’s Performance Fund, Louisiana State Museum, PJ’s Coffee, nola.com, Louisiana Lottery, House of Blues, Hotel Monteleone, United Airlines, Pat O’s on the River, Hard Rock Café, Windsor Court Hotel, BMI, Court of Two Sisters, Tulane Medical Center, Tulane Hospital for Children at Tulane Medical Center, Hermann Grima House, Applitite, Musical Legends Park, New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, Rolland Lock and Safe, Pelican Ice, SDT, OffBeat Magazine, Where Y’at Magazine, New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, NOLA Jitterbugs, NOTV, NOLA Baby & Family Magazine, Musical Legends Park, Preservation Hall, The Historic New Orleans Collection, St. Louis Cathedral, Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, NewOrleans.com, Louisiana Cookin’, Kids and Family New Orleans, IntheKnowla.com, Where Magazine, Curve Magazine, Ambush Magazine, New Orleans Magazine, Louisiana Life Magazine, Acadian Profile, MyNewOrleans.com, St. Charles Avenue Magazine, New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles, 96.1 The River, 101.5 WYNK, 102.5 WFMF, and 1150AM WJOB.
French Quarter Festivals, Inc. announces the launch of the 2012 Musician Sponsorship Program, a new initiative designed to help keep the „largest free music festival in the South‟ a high quality event that celebrates the best of New Orleans culture, while keeping it accessible to everyone and contributing to the economic well being of the French Quarter, the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana.
French Quarter Festival, now in its 29th year, has grown to be the largest free music festival in the South, attracting over 500,000 people to the historic neighborhood each year. French Quarter Festivals, Inc. is a self-sustaining non-profit organization. Festivals are made possible through sponsorship, participation fees and onsite beverage and merchandise sales. The production budget for this free event is over a million dollars, including costs for employing NOPD officers, sanitation, firewatch and EMS personnel.
Musician Sponsorship Program:
taking good care of local musicians and building for the future
Nineteen of the twenty stages at French Quarter Festival feature Louisiana Artists exclusively! The 20th stage is an „International Stage‟ featuring Traditional Jazz musicians from around the world. Over 800 local musicians perform annually at French Quarter Festival. For decades, entertainment sponsors have been third parties who agree to pay musicians for their performance in exchange for publicity and various other sponsor benefits. A recent survey of musicians showed an unbelievable myriad of „payments‟ – everything from online fundraising, Facebook appeals for sponsorship, to gift certificates, shopping sprees, studio time, a weekend stay at a camp across the lake, a restaurant tab – even babysitting. Notwithstanding, the survey revealed one vital fact – musicians absolutely love playing French Quarter Festival and look forward to it every year. In response to the survey, artists also conveyed just how much they look forward to the new Musician Sponsorship Program that French Quarter Festivals, Inc. will manage, removing the sponsorship burden from them.
French Quarter Festival‟s new program will facilitate the relationship between Artists and Sponsors, eliminating the Musician‟s responsibility in securing a Sponsor and freeing them to focus on their performance. Because French Quarter Festivals, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, sponsorships are tax deductible – another great benefit for sponsors.
With the launch of this program, Louisiana businesses are invited to truly participate in this annual community celebration, making a major impact, and enjoying the benefits of sponsorship. Contrary to what many think, a free music festival is not really „free‟, but the French Quarter Festival has grown to become the „largest free music festival in the South‟. It continues to be voted „locals favorite festival‟ year after year and is third in economic impact for the City of New Orleans (Mardi Gras ranks number one and the Super Bowl is number two, when it is held in New Orleans).
French Quarter Festival is not just a fun, high quality event. It annually generates over $300 million in economic impact with over $15 million in direct tax revenue going to the city and the state as a direct result of the festival. Over 500,000 people attended French Quarter Festival in 2011.
According to Marci Schramm, Executive Director of French Quarter Festivals, Inc., “There is something very special about this type of support. Music sponsors come from all corners of our community and from all over the state. They share a love of local culture and care about preserving what makes Louisiana so special.” Current music sponsors include everyone from beloved brands like Zapp‟s, to heavy hitters like Chevron and Northrup Grumman Corporation. The family of music sponsors also includes law and accounting firms, doctors, veterinarians, restaurants, hotels, retail shops and many more. “Like the diverse styles of music heard at French Quarter Festival, we also embrace an eclectic mix of sponsors who love the celebration and what it does for the community,” added Schramm. “Music sponsorship is rewarding and fun for those who participate – a sponsor can do as much (or as little) as they wish to tell the world that they support French Quarter Festival. Some sponsors love to get up on stage and introduce „their‟ band while some just like to hang a banner during the sponsored act‟s set.”
Sponsors may sign up at the „Shorty‟ level ($500) or as „Pops‟ ($20,000) – or anything in between. Supporters truly help keep New Orleans music alive, while being recognized by over half a million people at the annual French Quarter Festival.
Contact French Quarter Festivals, Inc. at 504-522-5730 (email: email@example.com) for more information about the Musician Sponsorship Program.
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana–(April 13, 2011) April 7- 10 marked the 28th anniversary of French Quarter Festival presented by Capital One Bank. This year’s attendance figures indicate that approximately 533,000* festival-goers enjoyed the music, food, special events and of course, the historic French Quarter.
The new opening day of Festival, dubbed ‘Locals Lagniappe Day’, on Thursday, April 7th was well received and well attended. Audiences enjoyed The Preservation HallStars, New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra, Benny Grunch and the Bunch, Los Hombres Calientes, Lillian Boutte, Bag of Donuts, Bonerama and other favorites of the local music scene. Festival organizers were thrilled with the response to the additional day. Executive Director Marci Schramm commented, “We were eager to see if locals and visitors would embrace the addition of Thursday. They came out early and stayed until the last note played. Our new opening day also helped to make our Friday run smoother operationally and brought large crowds who arrived early to enjoy the opening parade and the French Quarter Festival AllStars featuring Pete Fountain on the Jackson Square Stage. The new Thursday was a true winner for everyone!”
“The French Quarter Festival is great for New Orleans in so many ways — as a celebration of a one-of-a-kind neighborhood in America, as a showcase for our city’s wonderful music, cuisine and architecture, and as a
boost to our local economy,” said Steve Hemperley, Greater New Orleans Market President for Capital One Bank. Capital One Bank is proud to be the presenting sponsor of this very special New Orleans event.”
This award-winning festival, which began in 1984, has grown to become the largest free music festival in the South. A record 20 music stages throughout the French Quarter presented the best in New Orleans music, representing every genre from traditional and contemporary jazz to R & B and New Orleans funk, brass bands, folk, gospel, classical, opera, Cajun Zydeco, Latin World, International, as well as a musical stage for children. Over 90 food and beverage booths located in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint made up the “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch,” a signature event featuring authentic local cuisine from renowned area restaurants, many of whom have been with the Festival throughout its entire 28-year history.
FQFI officials worked with Capital One Bank and Hotard to continue free shuttle service to the festival for a second year. Free to ride all weekend, Capital One Bank sponsored the ‘Second Line Shuttle’, which was routed from the Convention Center parking lot to Canal Street. To accommodate the many people attending the festival on both Saturday and Sunday, the New Orleans Police Department closed down North Peters and Decatur Street – creating a pedestrian mall from Canal Street all the way to the French Market – ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for locals and visitors alike.
French Quarter Festival relies on strong community support to present the ‘kickoff to festival season in New Orleans’ – with over 1,800 volunteers, over 260 musical acts, numerous generous sponsors – including the New Orleans Musicians Union AFM Local 174-496, corporations from all over the state who sponsor musical acts at festival, New Orleans Police and Fire Departments, EMS, permitting assistance from the City of New Orleans and partnerships with Parks and Parkways, Audubon Institute and the Louisiana State Museum, among others.
Over 700 guests attended the festival’s kickoff party: ‘TGIF’ – Thank Goodness it’s Festival! – at the House of Blues. Festival goers attended a variety of free special events throughout the weekend, including the International Music Colloquium; Swing Dance lessons at two stages; children’s music and activities at the Audubon Aquarium riverfront plaza; a Pirate’s Alley Juried Art Show; Rouses World Championship Crawfish Eating Contest; Battle of the Bands; and Sunday’s ‘Dancing at Dusk’, which filled the 400 block of Royal Street and beyond with dancers.
French Quarter Festival is produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc., (FQFI) the 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, which also produces Satchmo SummerFest in August and Christmas New Orleans Style in December. For more information about any of these events, call (504) 522-5730 or visit www.fqfi.org.
Sponsors for French Quarter Festival include: Capital One Bank (Presenting Sponsor), Harrah’s Foundation, Abita Brewing Company, Pernod Ricard: Absolut, Malibu, Jameson, Jacob’s Creek Reserve, General Motors Corporation (GMC Trucks), Coca-Cola, WWL-TV, New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, Rouses Market, French Market Corporation, Cox Business Louisiana, Chevron, Louisiana Office of Tourism, Musician’s Performance Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Louisiana State Museum, Community Coffee, Community Arts Grant made possible by the City of New Orleans as administered by the Arts Council of New Orleans, nola.com, Louisiana Lottery, BMI, Continental Airlines, Pat O’s on the River, Hard Rock Café, Court of Two Sisters, Tulane Medical Center, Tulane Hospital for Children at Tulane Medical Center, applitite, New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, Rolland Lock and Safe, Whole Foods, TRS – The Registration System, WWOZ 90.7 FM, OffBeat magazine, Where Y’at magazine, Windsor Court Hotel, Café Beignet, NOLA Jitterbugs, Fleur de Lindy, dancingman504.com, dancequarter.com, NOLA Baby & Family Magazine, Musical Legends Park, Preservation Hall, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, University of New Orleans Hospitality Research Center, NewOrleans.com, Louisiana Cookin’, Louisiana’s Health & Fitness Magazine, Vocero USA, The New Orleans Levee, Taste of the South Magazine, WWNO 89.9FM, WWL AM870, 102.5 WFMF, 96.1 KRVE, AM1150 WJBO, 101.5 WYNK, 107.5 KCIL, 106.3 KXOR, 96.7 KMYO, and 1490AM KJIN.