Gettin down in the Big Easy
Knowing little about Jazz Fest and New Orleans in general, Justin and I booked our plane tickets on a whim when Phish announced they would be headlining the first weekend of jazz fest. After a whirlwind weekend of music, mint juleps, and festival fare I’m ready to book my trip for next year. And I thought Vegas was the party town…boy did I get that wrong. On our first walk down Bourbon Street at 2 am, every third person could barely put one foot in front of the other.
The weekend started off with a drunken brunch at Galatoire’s. A famous New Orleans restaurant founded in 1905 in its fifth generation of family ownership. On any given night outside the front door on Bourbon Street you’ll see guys waiting in line for a table reservation. No joke! Not even the president can get a reservation here without sending someone to wait in line for a day or two.
First day at jazz fest…our crew at during the Infamous String Dusters show.
It’s 5 pm and the sun and booze got the best of some of us.
To my surprise being vegan at jazz fest is no big deal. I was actually a little worried and packed about 20 protein bars for the weekend. This tofu dish with veggies, couscous with peanut sauce dish was my go to meal for the entire weekend. Black bean cakes with cashew cheese, jama jama and fried plantains were favorite vegan-friendly dishes too.
A tradition at jazz fest is to have a flag for your crew. Honestly I think it would have been absolutely impossible to find your gang without one.
Here comes a really heartfelt story…our flags consisted of “Zutes” and “Team Fun.” Zutes was a close friend of a handful of people in our crew. He lost his life in a boating accident a few years back, and to honor his legacy his friends fly his flag at every festival.
Scott manning the flag.
Our neighbors with the Disco Blender flag. The blender had hundreds of little mirrored squares stuck to it. The Krewe de Blender has been meeting up at festivals for years. Team Fun will definitely be having similar reunions!
Our raging cactus!
For jazz fest first timers, here are some key tips:
- They only sell beer and wine (and some very fruity daquiris that I think are made with rice wine) so plan accordingly!;)
- There is PLENTY of vegan and vegetarian friendly food.
- From what I heard from my non-vegan friends, the seafood monica dishes are the best ever.
- Hats and sunscreens are a must!
- General Admission passes are totally fine. They’ll run you $50/day if you pre-order. The Big Chief passes are awesome, but if you plan on raging with a big group of friends they aren’t worth the splurge.
- Make a list of who you want to see everyday. I definitely missed some acts I wanted to see because I didn’t plan it out.
- Bring lots of cash. There are ATM’s if you forget.
- Bring a fold-up cooler for beer. They’ll sell you as many as you want at the concession stands. That way you can send one person out for a beer run and not lose your spot.
- Flag and flag pole are highly suggested. You can bring blankets and chairs but they’re only allowed in certain areas further from the stage.
- Make sure you start looking for after shows months in advance. Shows will go til all hours of the night in the French Quarter and you’ll be able to catch your favorite artists in super intimate venues.
Happy festival season and see you next year, NOLA!
Linking up with Funday Monday