Locals and visitors from around the world enjoyed the best of New Orleans music, food, and the historic French Quarter
April 15, 2013 – April 11-14 marked the 30th anniversary of French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron. This year’s attendance figures indicate that approximately over 562,000* festival-goers enjoyed the music, food, special events, and of course, the historic French Quarter.
Attendance numbers are slightly down from 2012, because of rain episodes on Thursday and Sunday morning, but the Festival did host the largest single attendance day in its history – with 303,000 festival goers on Saturday, April 13th.
The 2013 French Quarter Festival featured iPhone and Android phone apps, which were available free of charge, courtesy of Capital One Bank. More than 5,200 iOS users downloaded the festival update from last year’s app, and about 7,000 iOS users installed the app for the first time. On the Android side, over 2,000 users updated from last year’s app, and about 2,300 new users installed the app for the first time. This adds up to over 16,000 Festival App users.
The award-winning festival, which began in 1984, has grown to become the largest free music festival in the South. Twenty-one 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, cabaret, opera, cajun, zydeco, world music, international, as well as a musical stage for children. Over 90 food and beverage booths located in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Decatur Street, 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 30-year history.
FQFI officials worked with Capital One Bank and Hotard to continue free shuttle service to the festival for a fourth year. Free to ride all weekend, Capital One sponsored the ‘Second Line Shuttle,’ which was routed from the Central Business District to Canal Street. To accommodate festival goers Friday through Sunday, the New Orleans Police Department closed down most streets of the French Quarter to traffic – ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for locals and visitors alike. Fest goers enjoyed dancing in the streets at the new Bienville Statue Stage (the Chevron Cajun Zydeco Showcase) and enjoyed the historic neighborhood. Very few events in the City are afforded such a traffic closure. New Orleans Police provided strong support throughout the weekend, alongside Fess, Inc.
French Quarter Festival relies on strong community support to present the ‘kickoff to festival season in New Orleans’ – with over 2,000 volunteers, over 250 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.
Festival goers attended a variety of free special events throughout the weekend, including the return of the Chevron Evening Concert Series, the Tropical Isle fireworks, a new partnership with Timecode: NOLA which produced a film festival within the Festival, a lecture series, ‘Let them Talk: Conversations on Louisiana Music’; free dance lessons at three stages; two children’s areas with music and activities; 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.
Over 400 guests attended the festival’s 30th Anniversary Gala at Antoine’s on opening day of Festival. A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Roots of Music.
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.
For more information on all FQFI festivals and events, call 504-522-5730 or visit the festival’s website at www.fqfi.org.