The 50th annual edition of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is now in the books. While the event has been going on for half a century, this year’s edition saw a notable change in format, adding an additional Thursday worth of music to the schedule. The extra day was originally added to accommodate a specially-ticketed headlining performance by The Rolling Stones on Thursday, May 2nd. However, when the Stones (and their initial replacement, Fleetwood Mac) had to back out due to band member illnesses, the festival converted the day to a regularly-ticketed day a the Fairgrounds headlined by Jazz Fest regulars, Widespread Panic.
While the Stones plans didn’t pan out, the festival still found success with their extra day—so much so that they’re keeping it on the schedule for 2020. In a notice posted to the festival website, organizers revealed the dates for next year’s Fest (Thursday, April 23 through Sunday, May 3), including the newly introduced additional Thursday. They also revealed that approximately 475,000 people attended the event’s eight days this year.
While we won’t know who’s playing for some time, it’s exciting to hear that this bigger, badder Jazz Fest format is here to stay, at least for the time being.
[H/T New Orleans Advocate]