This year, the iconic 10-day cultural feast — in which thousands of musicians, cooks and craftspeople welcome 400,000 visitors each year to the Big Easy — is set to be held at the Fair Grounds Race Course over the course of 2 weekends, April 29-May 1 and May 5–May 8.
How We Got Here
In 1970, 350 musicians gathered and performed to a small crowd in New Orleans’ Congo Square, for what has become the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Today, 52 years later, the Jazz Fest has become one of the premiere music festivals attracting music’s biggest names to play during the two-week festival.
Weekend One, 2022
This year, the festival will feature some of music’s legendary artists including Lionel Richie, Stevie Nicks, Jimmy Buffet and Texas music legend Willie Nelson. Weekend one will kick off with Lionel Richie and Death Cab for Cutie on Friday night. Then Saturday, British rockers The Who, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, and Nelly will take to the stage. Closing out the first weekend of music are the newly-added Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Avett Brothers and Charlie Wilson.
Weekend Two, 2022
The second weekend kicks off on Thursday, May 5 with country star Luke Combs, and Grammy winner Silly Strings. The Black Crowes bring their bluesy rock music in on Friday with Elvis Costello and Busta Rhymes. On Saturday, the women take center stage with Stevie Nicks, Erykah Badu and Lauren Daigle. To bring the 2022 Jazz Fest to a close the “Red-Headed Stranger,” Willie Nelson, and the always entertaining Trombone Shorty take the stage on Sunday, along with Norah Jones.
Replacing the Irreplaceable
The Foo Fighters were scheduled to headline during the first weekend of the festival, but pulled out of the festival due to the tragic passing of drummer Taylor Hawkins in Columbia. To fill the Sunday spot the Foo Fighters left open, event organizers turned to California funk/rock band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Chili Peppers are currently touring in support of their new album “Unlimited Love,” which features the return of John Frusciante on guitar.
Not Just the Headliners
The headliners may be the big attraction, but each and every day jazz, soul, and blues music can be heard at every stage. For a complete guide to who is performing, and when, be sure to visit the New Orleans Jazz Fest music schedule. Also be sure to pack the sun screen, and drink plenty of water during the festival.
Don’t Miss the New Orleans Heritage
The music may be the big draw of the festival, but Jazz Fest is also a celebration of New Orleans heritage. While at the festival be sure to visit the four unique areas, which feature a different aspect of New Orleans heritage. The Louisiana Folklife Village, and the Native American Village, highlight these generations old traditions, and culture. Another experience featured at the festival is the Grandstand, which allows festival-goers a chance to experience the art and cuisine of Louisiana in an air-conditioned environment. There will also be craft stores featuring craft goods from Northern Africa, contemporary crafts, and also crafts from Louisiana.
Tickets for the festival, single day and weekend passes, are still available for purchase, as well as shuttle passes. If you are a resident of Louisiana, you can get discounted tickets on “Locals Thursday.” All ticket packages, and options can be found at https://www.nojazzfest.com/tickets/.
Cover photo courtesy Joshua Brasted
Brian Maass is a native Austinite who has a passion for music, travel and sharing his experiences through his camera lens. He lives in Round Rock, Texas with his wife Dana Kent Maass and their faithful dog Chester.