The second annual NOLA Crawfish Festival runs during the days between Jazz Fest, from May 1st through the 3rd. The fest brings together all the elements of a perfect party: Awesome music, delicious food and plenty of refreshing beer. With music fans everywhere descending on New Orleans for the beloved music festival, the city is gearing up to show the world why it’s known as one of the greatest places to party on the planet.
While there’s no shortage of fun to be had during Jazz Fest itself, there is a three day lull in between weekends that cried out for a party, and those pleas were answered by the NOLA Crawfish Festival. Situated in the “Daze Between,” the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday when Jazz Fest is resetting itself, the NOLA Crawfish Festival is giving local fans and visitors to the Crescent City alike a way to let the good times keep rolling.
Here’s the top five reasons why you shouldn’t miss out on this incredible opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime combination of authentic New Orleans tunes, food, friends and fun.
1. The Music
The musical legacy of New Orleans will be on display for all three days of the NOLA Crawfish Festival, with appearances by local legends and national favorites like The Meters’ George Porter Jr., Soulive/Lettuce’s Eric Krasno, John Medeski, North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther Dickinson, Dumpstaphunk’s Ivan Neville & Tony Hall, Nigel Hall, Jon Cleary, Galactic’s Rob Mercurio & Jeff Raines, The Radiators’ Dave Malone, John Papa Gros and many more in a series of incredible, once-in-a-lifetime jam sessions. Gathering so many gifted improvisers together and turning them loose guarantees that, wherever the music flows, the players will be ready for whatever they throw at each other. Check out the full 2017 lineup here.
2. The Food
The NOLA Crawfish King himself, Chris “Shaggy” Davis, will be on hand to feed the crowd with his world famous crawfish boil. No stranger to music events, Shaggy has earned a reputation as the “Go to” source for anyone who wants to bring the spirit of New Orleans to their shows across the country. Ever since a fortuitous accident brought him to the city decades ago, Shaggy has worked to unite the community through his lovingly prepared boil. Using the freshest ingredients and an on-site boiler system, Shaggy will be overseeing the preparation of thousands of pounds of tasty crawfish and fixings for the crowd. The best part? The incredible feast is included in the ticket price, and you’ll find yourself bellying up to the buffet tables next to fellow fans and musicians alike.
In addition, this year there will be barbecue items available from Central City BBQ.
Though the festival has switched locations for its second edition, its former host, the NOLA Brewery, will continue to provide classic and specialty brews to pair with all that scrumptious crawfish boil. The NOLA Brewery has earned a strong reputation for crafting a wide selection of year round offerings like ales, IPAs, stouts and special, seasonal concoctions that reflect the ingredients available during the different stages of the year. There’s nothing better than an ice cold, hand crafted beer, and The NOLA Brewery is even crafting a special, limited edition signature brew to help wash down all the wonderful food that crowds will enjoy.
This year, NOLA Crawfish Festival will call the brand new and highly acclaimed Central City BBQ its home. The new joint from Rob Bechtold and Aaron Burgau (Patois, Bayona, Hogs for the Cause) is being called a “game-changer” in the hood for its top-notch barbecue game and impressive event space. The venue will have BBQ dishes as well as a full bar at your disposal for an array of options.
5. The Unique VIP Experience
While a general admission ticket will grant you access to 7 hours of music per day, 2 lbs. of crawfish, and one beer, a VIP ticket is the best way to enjoy the full 360° experience. Single and 3-day VIP tickets are available and include extra food and beer, private VIP hang areas, a no-wait VIP entrance, a special VIP viewing area, meet and greets, a limited edition poster, and more. If you’re really looking to splurge on a once in a lifetime experience, consider buying a Super VIP ticket which includes all of the amenities of VIP plus open bar all three days and a backstage pass to interact with your favorite artists.
With all the wonderful reasons to attend, it’s hard to imagine a better way to spend the days between Jazz Fest weekend than listening to some of the finest in New Orleans music, bellying up to tables laden with some of the best crawfish boil in the world, and washing it down with a variety of locally made craft beers. With the addition of the NOLA Crawfish Festival to the Jazz Fest season, it’s possible to spend ten straight days going around the clock in a magical musical marathon. Join the fun and get your tickets while they last HERE.
Photos by Sam Shinault