In a surprise announcement, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has added an additional day featuring a performance by The Rolling Stones. The iconic rockers will perform at Jazz Fest on Wednesday, October 13th, marking the first time a day of the event has taken place on a Wednesday.
General admission and VIP tickets for The Rolling Stones at Jazz Fest go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. CT on Friday, July 30th. Fans who have purchased 3-day weekend passes, VIP packages, Brass Passes, and official travel packages as of 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 25 will be part of a limited presale opportunity.
Details have yet to be released regarding who, if any, will perform alongside The Rolling Stones at Fair Grounds Race Course on Wednesday, October 13th.
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While the addition of The Rolling Stones to Jazz Fest 2021 comes as a surprise, this is not the first time a potential Stones performance has prompted the event to shift its format.
In 2019, after some hints from Mick Jagger got the rumor mill churning, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival announced that The Rolling Stones would headline the 50th annual edition of the beloved musical and cultural gathering. To accommodate the rock n’ roll icons, Jazz Fest added a separately-ticketed (and more expensive) eighth day to the event. As is customary when things change and prices get higher, the requisite melts from fans about this update proceeded to flood social media.
That outcry wound up being for naught: At the end of March, The Stones postponed their entire North American tour—including their Jazz Fest spot—when Jagger was forced to undergo heart surgery. In the wake of the cancellation, fans were left to wonder who might fill the headlining vacancy—and whether or not a passable substitute for one of the greatest bands in history even exists, particularly on such short notice.
As Jazz Fest organizers put their heads together regarding a replacement, speculation ran rampant online. The buzz and confusion spiked on April 1st, 2019 when an April Fools joke article “revealing” that Led Zeppelin would reunite to fill the void went viral [Editor’s note: Oops].
Eventually, organizers wound up finding a relatively admirable suitor in Fleetwood Mac. Problem solved. For now… Just four days after being announced as the Jazz Fest replacements for The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac postponed their tour due to Stevie Nicks‘ health issues. Once again, Jazz Fest organizers were sent back to the drawing board.
Finally, as the event drew closer, organizers turned to festival regulars, Widespread Panic, to take over the second Thursday headlining duties. They also converted the controversial, specially-ticketed day back to a regular Jazz Fest pricing structure and turned it into a second Locals Thursday. Panic wound up playing their set at the Fairgrounds on May 2nd, and Jazz Fest wound up selling so many tickets over the course of the event that they decided to keep the eighth day in 2020—an event which, as we know, never wound up happening.
While the Jazz Fest 2019 saga ended happily, The Rolling Stones’ strange year in New Orleans was not over yet. In mid-May of that year, following Jagger’s successful recovery from surgery, The Stones rescheduled their No Filter North American tour to take place in June, July, and August. While the Jazz Fest ship had sailed, the Stones added a new date at New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome with Dumpstaphunk and The Soul Rebels—a proper Crescent City makeup for the missed Fairgrounds play. After all of the twists and turns, The Rolling Stones were actually set to play New Orleans on July 14th…
Mother Nature, however, had other plans. Due to serious weather threatening the region on the weekend of the Superdome show, the band once again had to postpone their performance. This time, the wait was much shorter: The Rolling Stones finally performed at the Superdome on July 15th, bringing the 7-month ordeal to a close. The band’s performance of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” felt particularly well-deserved as New Orleans fans sang along:
You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need…
The Rolling Stones – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” -New Orleans, LA – 7/15/19
[Video: Alexander Nebarez]
Now, a year and a half later, during an off-season, multi-postponed version of Jazz Fest, The Rolling Stones will finally take the stage at the Fair Grounds Race Course for a performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
The Stones join an already enormous 2021 lineup at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Weekend one of New Orleans Jazz Fest 2021 will feature performances by Dead & Company, Foo Fighters, Lizzo, The Black Crowes, Demi Lovato, Brandi Carlile, Wu-Tang Clan ft. The Soul Rebels, Ludacris, Ziggy Marley: Songs of Bob Marley, Randy Newman, and more.
The first weekend will also feature The Revivalists, Tank and the Bangas, Galactic, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbeque Swingers, Cyril Neville, Boyfriend, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Charlie Musselwhite, Arturo Sandoval, Martha Redbone Roots Project, Ricky Skaggs, Doug Kershaw, El Gran Combo, Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, Tab Benoit, Leo Nocentelli, Anders Osborne, Walter Wolfman Washington & the Roadmasters, Little Freddie King, Kathy Taylor and Favor, a Tribute to Bessie Smith, Nicholas Payton, Deacon John, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indians, and hundreds more.
For the second weekend of the event, Jazz Fest will welcome Stevie Nicks, Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band, H.E.R., Norah Jones, Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Beach Boys, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Jon Batiste, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Brittany Howard, Irma Thomas, Melissa Etheridge, The Isley Brothers, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Boz Scaggs, Rickie Lee Jones, Ledisi, Tower of Power, Big Freedia, Keb’ Mo’ Band, PJ Morton, Playing for Change Band, Samantha Fish, Terence Blanchard feat. The E-Collective, and Rebirth Brass Band.
Additional artists booked for Jazz Fest weekend two include Shovels & Rope, Asleep at the Wheel, Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, The Radiators, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners, Davell Crawford, Puss N Boots, The Campbell Brothers, Jermaine Landrum & Abundant Praise Revival Choir, The Roots of Music Marching Crusaders, a Tribute to Dr. John, The Count Basie Orchestra, New Orleans Nightcrawlers, Ronnie Lamarque, and hundreds of others.
To check out the full New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival lineups by day, head here.
For more information and ticketing details, click here.