The Rolling StonesQueen LatifahNeil Young & Crazy HorseTrombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, and many more artists helped close out the 2024 edition of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, often referred to simply as Jazz Fest, with a four-day weekend of music. Of course, the main attraction for many on weekend two of Jazz Fest was The Rolling Stones, but plenty else was going on at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots from Thursday, May 2nd through Sunday, May 5th.

In a change of style, Jazz Fest in 2024 added a second Thursday to the festival which typically runs from Friday through Sunday the first weekend and Thursday through Sunday the next. This time, the festival held its “locals Thursday”—when Louisiana residents receive discounted admission—to kick off weekend one on Thursday, April 25th. Then on Thursday, May 2nd, Jazz Fest presented a truncated day of music highlighted by The Stones. The festival has already announced it will stick with the eight-day format for 2025.

It was a little eerie on Thursday at the Fair Grounds following Dumpstaphunk‘s set ahead from The Stones, as all the other stages went silent and from about 4:30 to 5 p.m., there was no live music playing at Jazz Fest. However, any lingering strangeness dissipated when The Rolling Stones took the stage—completely redecorated with the band’s iconic tongue insignia—and hit the opening chords of “Start Me Up”. The band’s two-hour, 18-song set featured a guest appearance by the Soul Queen of New Orleans Irma Thomas for “Time Is On My Side”, a song famously sung by Thomas but covered by The Stones in 1963 for their first Top 10 hit in the United States. Mick Jagger also took a moment to call out Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry for wanting “to take us back to the Stone Ages,” taking a swipe at the newly installed conservative governor in front of an estimated sold-out crowd of 40,000. The Stones’ long-awaited appearance closed the book on a five-year saga which began when they were forced to cancel their appearance at Jazz Fest in 2019 when Jagger underwent surgery.

Jazz Fest was back to full power on Friday, May 3rd for performances by Anders OsborneGalactic featuring Jelly JosephSteel PulseChristone “Kingfish” IngramThe Soul RebelsAllison RussellThe Uptown Ruler Cyril Neville, and many, many more. Following their respective headlining sets, Hozier and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl both made the crosstown dash to Preservation Hall for the legendary jazz club’s famed Midnight Preserves concert series, when Jazz Fest headliners are known to drop by for surprise appearances. Hozier joined the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for his hit single “Take Me To Church” and, while Grohl didn’t take the stage, he was seen shaking a tamborine in the audience during the show.

The festival continued on Saturday, May 4th for another full day with sets by Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Queen Latifah, Greta Van Fleet, Sonny Landreth, Rhiannon Giddens, Nickel Creek, Kinfolk Brass Band, Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Leo Nocentelli (The Meters), PJ Morton, Kermit Ruffins & The BBQ Swingers, and plenty more. Neil Young & Crazy Horse closed out the main festival stage, though eagle-eyed attendees noticed that the stage was conspicuously missing the Shell logo—not a surprising alteration from the ecologically-minded Young, who sported a black t-shirt emblazoned with the word “EARTH” for this stop on the Love Earth Tour. During the set, Young briefly cast off his backing band for a stirring solo rendition of “Ohio” on the 54th anniversary of the deadly Kent State shootings that inspired the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song.

All good things must come to an end, and that includes Jazz Fest, which wrapped on Sunday, May 5th with top acts Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Bonnie RaittEarth, Wind & FireTower of PowerGeorge Thorogood & The Destroyers, a tribute to Louis Armstrong led by Kermit Ruffins, Joe Bonamassa, Irma Thomas, George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners, and more. Ahead of Trombone Shorty’s traditional festival-closing performance, Jimmy Buffett‘s Coral Reefer Band led a tribute to its late bandleader on the main festival stage.

Relive weekend two of New Orleans Jazz Fest 2024 with daily photo galleries courtesy of photographer Ron Valle. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will return April 24th–May 4th, 2025. It’s almost Jazz Fest.