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.