Deep South USA Blog

New Orleans is all about the music so here is your guide to get you to the best music festivals in the city. Some of them have already taken place this year but these are all annual festivals and are always packed so why not plans for next years festivals too – come ready to eat, sing, dance and laissez les bon temps rouler.....let the good times roll!

Wednesdays at the Square

March - May

Spread a blanket out on the grass of Lafayette Square and rub elbows with the after-work crowd while seeing live performances and watching the sunset. For 12 weeks in the spring and early summer, discover what "WATS" is all about and from September to November, experience "Harvest the Music." These festivals offer free outdoor concerts from 5-8 p.m., come rain or shine. 

Buku Music + Art Project
11-12 March, 2016

A newer event to the New Orleans festival scene is the 5th Annual BUKU Music + Art Project, a progressive music and arts festival featuring local and national artists such as Pretty Lights, Fetty Wap, Kid Cudi and more. Located at Mardi Gras World, the festival also offers the BUKU Graffiti Wall, indigenous art exhibits, local cuisine and a unique VIP section on a historic steamboat on the Mississippi River. Visit the website for more information on this 18+ only event. 

Congo Square/New World Rhythms Fest
19-20 March, 2016

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation presents the seventh annual Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival in Armstrong Park. This free event celebrates the cultural diversity of New Orleans and the melting pot of traditions that gave rise to their unique music. Featuring the music and dance of Africa, the Caribbean, the American Gulf South and beyond in this two-day, family-friendly festival. 

Soul Fest
5-6 March, 2016

Celebrate the wonderful legacy of African American food, music and culture that we've all come to know as soul food and soul music. More than 20,000 people flock to the Audubon Zoo to see live musical performances by local Jazz, Rhythm & Blues and Gospel artists at our Capital One Stage! Arrive hungry because there's tons of food with southern flair, including fried Louisiana alligator kabobs, pork chops po-boys and sweet potato pies. 

French Quarter Festival
7-10 April, 2016

This is the largest free music festival in the South with a special focus on New Orleans' music and food. The festival offers 20 performance stages and more than 90 food and beverage booths set among one of the countries most historic neighbourhoods. Kids' activities, home tours and other festivities fill the weekend with fun.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
22 April -1 May, 2016

For more than 40 years, music lovers from around the globe have made the pilgrimage to the historic Fair Grounds Race Course for a line-up that reads more like a who's who of music legends than an event flyer. The music is phenomenal and the food is inspirational. An event worthy of the birthplace of jazz. 

Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo
20-22 May, 2016

From jazz and blues to Cajun and country, three free days of live music bring more than 20,000 people to the banks of the Bayou Saint John each year. Catch performances from local Louisiana artists and take part in festival events including the Rubber Duck Derby, dance lessons and the Bicycle Pub Crawl. 

Cajun & Zydeco Festival
18-19 June, 2016

The legendary Buckwheat Zydeco will make a return appearance to the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival at Louis Armstrong Park. Also performing will be the world-famous Beau Soleil avec Michael Doucet featuring special guest Jo-El Sonnier.  

Essence Music Festival
30 June - 3 July, 2016

"Party with a purpose" at this star-studded celebration of African American music and culture in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Jazz up your July with performances by the world's biggest hip-hop, R&B and soul artists, this year includes Usher, Mary J. Blige, Common and Indie.Arie headlining. 

San Fermin in Nueva Orleans (Running of the Bulls)
8-10 July, 2016

San Fermin in Nueva Orleans (SFNO) is an annual festival in New Orleans featuring an Encierro (bull run), which replicates and pays homage to the world famous Encierro of Pamplona, Spain, better known as "The Running of the Bulls", only our bulls are none other than members of the Big Easy Rollergirls and select participants from other roller derby leagues across the country! 

Satchmo Summerfest
4-7 August, 2016

Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong is one of New Orleans' favourite native sons (and they have many to pick from). Each year, this weekend-long festival celebrates his life, legacy and music. The festivities include a seminar series, jazz exhibits, a jazz mass and second-line parade, fantastic food and a host of star-studded performers.

Crescent City Blues & BBQ
14-16 October, 2016

Two things synonymous with the South: blues and barbecue. Find the best combination of both at the free festival presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Inc. in Lafayette Square Park. Get a spot next to the stage to see the headliners up close. 

Voodoo Music Experience
28-30 October, 2016

Only the coolest take to the stage at this Halloween-themed festival in City Park, known for its blending of high-profile national artists such as Marilyn Manson, 50 Cent, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Duran Duran, Nine Inch Nails, R.E.M. and 311, with local Louisiana musicians including The Original Meters, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Dr. John. 

For an information pack on New Orleans or any of these events email

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