NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA (February 23, 2010) – 2010 may be the most exciting year for New Orleans in recent history. With the success of the Mardi Gras, Lombardi Gras and our New Orleans Saints, and February’s Mayoral Election, French Quarter Festival anticipates record-breaking attendance numbers. Accordingly, 2010 ushers in an abundance of new and exciting things scheduled for the 27th annual French Quarter Festival, beginning with the TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Festival!) Kick-off party on April 8, followed by the Festival on April 9 – 11 in the historic French Quarter.
In order to keep French Quarter Festival free and open to the public, the organization relies heavily on the contributions of our sponsors and partners, as well as beverage and merchandise sales. For 2010, the festival is thrilled to announce the largest single sponsorship contribution in the history of the festival, by Capital One, a long-time partner who will now become Presenting Sponsor for the 2010 French Quarter Festival. “Events like the French Quarter Festival remind us all of the deep cultural history of New Orleans and, in particular, the French Quarter,” said Steve Hemperley, Greater New Orleans Market President for Capital One Bank. “Capital One Bank is proud to be a part of the New Orleans community and to participate in this celebration of those things which make our city so special: world-class music, architecture and food.”
With thrilling new partnerships bring forth new programming for 2010. In collaboration with BMI, French Quarter Festival will launch a brand new 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 12 of the region’s finest up-and-comers including: Luke Winslow-King, Amy Trail, Lynn Drury, Micah McKee, Charlie Oxford, Dana Abbott, Ruby Rendrag, Karen Waldrup, Kristin Diable, Jim McCormick, Andrew Duhon, and John Michael Rouchell. Programming for BMI Songwriter stage will occur from 11am through 5pm on Saturday April 10 and Sunday April 11.
In order to make room for the BMI Songwriter Stage, the popular Classical Music Stage must be relocated; which was held at the THNOC in 2009. Due to a long-time relationship, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré welcomed the opportunity to host the Classical Music Stage. The Classical Music Stage and Le Petit, the oldest operating theatre in the country, will feature performances by some of the most respected performers from the area including: Harpist Rachel Van Voorhees, Guitarist John Rankin, and the Crescent Woodwind Quartet. Performances on the Classical Music Stage at Le Petit will take place from 11am through 4:45pm on Saturday April 10 and Sunday April 11.
Catering to the technology-savvy festival-goers, the 2010 French Quarter Festival will offer it’s first-ever iPhone application. Made possible through a partnership with Applitite, iPhone users will have a personal French Quarter Festival Guide at their fingertips. Applitite, the leader in music festival mobile application provider and also avid festival lovers, has created an application that allows revelers to plan their agenda, get up-to-the-minute updates about the event, and access the festival map and music schedule directly from iPhones and iPod touches. The application will be available for download prior to French Quarter Festival and can be downloaded through the Apple’s iTunes Store.
On the other hand, patrons yearning for something more nostalgic can partake in the series of traditional dance lessons located at the French Market Traditional Jazz Stage, located at Governor Nicholls and French Market Place. Between musical breaks, festival patrons are invited to learn traditional dances styles such as the Charleston, Swing, and Second-line, a favorite New Orleans past time. Instructors from Fleur de Lindy and dancingman504.com will be on hand demonstrating and educating visitors on these various dance styles on a state-of-the-art dance floor. Performers such as the Jazz Vipers, Sophie Lee, Rick Trolson & the New Orleans Po-Boys, and James Andrews will provide ‘music to swing to’ all weekend long on the Traditional Jazz Stage.
Even though French Quarter Festival features over 150 local musical acts, there is still opportunity for increase the number of performers. This year, the famed Brass Band Stage will take on a new name and feature more performances than ever before. Performers on the Riverside Legacy Stage include: Rebirth Brass Band, the Soul Rebels, Storyville Stompers, and Treme Brass Band. In addition to traditional brass bands, the Riverside Legacy Stage will also feature acts such Glenn David Andrews, I’voire Spectacle, Kora Konnection, and Big Chief Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias.
French Quarter Festival celebrates the return of the ‘Louis-Louis’ Pavilion Stage on the riverfront, paying tribute to Louis Armstrong and Louis Prima with special performances dedicated to these famous native sons. WWOZ 90.7FM will be broadcasting live all weekend long from the ‘Louis-Louis’ Pavilion Stage all weekend long. FQF will also act as the maiden voyage of the WWOZ ‘Street-Wise’ mobile broadcasting unit, a broadcast device created from a hi-tech supermarket shopping cart, as they broadcast live from the street stages all weekend long.
The ever-popular Children’s Headquarters was expanded and relocated to the Audubon Aquarium Plaza on the riverfront in 2009 and made possible through an exciting partnership with Audubon Institute. Anchoring the Children’s Headquarters will be The Kids’ Stage at the ferry landing. This year, the Children’s Headquarters will again focus on educating families about ‘healthy kids’ programs in a fun and interactive way.
Once again, the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint’s will be home to the ‘Esplanade in the Shade’ stage, which will feature an exciting and eclectic mix of artists including ‘Best of the Beat’ award winners, The Honey Island Swamp Band, Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Review, Sasha Masakowski and Musical Playground, Ingrid Lucia, Astral Project, Los Po-Boy-Citos, Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs and many more.
Out-of-town festival goers are encouraged to book their travel accommodations now; as many area hotels have reported they have been enjoying strong reservations since December 2009. As always, there is no finer time to visit New Orleans as the spring, especially during the weekend of French Quarter Festival – the largest free music festival in the South. April marks the start of the festival season in New Orleans and a month of beautiful weather.
Sponsors for French Quarter Festival include: Capital One Bank, Louisiana Office of Tourism, Harrah’s Foundation, Abita Brewing Company, Southern Comfort, Coca-Cola, WWL-TV, New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, French Market Corporation, Cox Business Louisiana, Musician’s Performance Fund, Rouses Market, Fetzer, 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, Crystal Hot Sauce, nola.com, Louisiana Lottery, BMI, Chevron, Heyward Foundation, 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, Milk the Moment, BMI Foundation, Rolland Lock and Safe, Whole Foods, TRS – The Registration System, WWOZ 90.7 FM, OffBeat Magazine, Where Y’at Magazine, New Orleans Fine Hotels, Inn on Bourbon, Windsor Court Hotel, Café Beignet, New Orleans Red Dress Run sponsored by the New Orleans Hash House Harriers, Fleur de Lindy, dancingman504.com, dancequarter.com, Nola Baby & Family Magazine, Musical Legends Park, Preservation Hall, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Le Petit Theatre, 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. For more information on all FQFI festivals and events, call 504-522-5730 or visit the festival’s website at www.fqfi.org.
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