What is French Quarter Festival?
The award-winning French Quarter Festival is a four-day local music showcase scattered throughout the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana— the largest free music event in the United States. French Quarter Festival features 1,700 musicians playing 400 hours of free, local music from a variety of musical genres on 25 stages throughout the French Quarter. The community festival also features the ‘Culinary Lineup,’ festival food booths operated by some of New Orleans finest restaurants, open throughout the festival weekend.
What are the hours?
The music runs each day of festival from 11am-8pm.
Does the Festival conduct bag checks?
To provide a safer environment for the public, festival organizers implement bag checks. Attendees should anticipate bag checks at all major sites and stages. FQFI will enforce a ban on weapons, drugs, pets, glass bottles and outside beverages. Festival organizers strongly encourage festival-goers to not bring these items in order to access all areas of the event.
When is the festival?
2020 visitors: French Quarter Festival has been canceled. See you April 8-11, 2021!
The festival usually falls on the second full weekend in April. Sometimes, Easter will fall on that weekend, so please check with us before making your travel arrangements if you are unsure of the exact dates.
2021: April 8-11
What items are prohibited?
- Glass bottles and containers
- Professional radios or walkie-talkies
- Bicycles inside of festival grounds (bike parking and bike valet opportunities are found outside of the entrances to Woldenberg Riverfront Park and The Old U.S. Mint)
- Soliciting or vending unless previously authorized
- Tents or sun shades
What about prescription medications, baby formula, or milk?
These substances are exempt from the rules above, pending inspection.
Can I bring my cooler or ice chest?
French Quarter Festival does not allow coolers, ice chests, or large containers in major festival areas. The free event receives no public funding, and its success and continuation relies solely upon beverage/merchandise revenues. Help keep the festival free by purchasing your beverages at the festival!
How much does it cost to attend French Quarter Festival?
The four-day weekend festival is FREE and there is no cost to attend any of the performances. The only costs are for food, beverage, and merchandise purchases on festival grounds, and certain off-site special events. In order to keep this festival free and open to the public, outside food and beverages are prohibited.
Where is French Quarter Festival held?
French Quarter Festival is held throughout the historic French Quarter (Vieux Carre) neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana. Music stages are located at Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Bourbon Street, Royal Street, Bienville Triangle, Preservation Hall, the French Market, St. Mary’s at the Ursuline Convent, and New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Mint. “Culinary Lineup’ booths can be found in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, the Jax Brewery parking lot, and New Orleans Jazz Museum. Special events take place at various locations throughout the French Quarter; see listings for details. Also see our map.
Where do I park?
Getting to Festival is easy, but parking is challenging. Arrive early to park in these lots located in the heart of the festival: French Market, 500 Decatur Street, 300 North Peters Street, 211 Conti Street, Canal Place and various locations within walking distance.
Attendees are also encouraged to take advantage of public transportation, including the streetcar and RTA buses. The Loyola Streetcar line conveniently has stops near several parking lots in the CBD and drops off steps away from the French Quarter. Premium Parking has thousands of spaces along O’Keefe Avenue in the Central Business District, just a block away from RTA streetcars and buses. The following are easy access routes to downtown and the areas surrounding the French Quarter: #10 Tchoupitoulas, #11 Magazine, #55 Elysian Fields, #57 Franklin, #91 Jackson/Esplanade, #2 Riverfront, #12 St. Charles, #47 Canal/Cemeteries, #48 Canal/City Park Streetcar, #49 Loyola/UPT. In addition, the new Rampart Streetcar line runs from Elysian Fields Ave to Canal Street. For more details and fare information please go to www.norta.com. Fares can be purchased from the conductor or in advance at one of the RTA’s ticket vending machines -located at major transfer and boarding points throughout the city. Vending machines accept cash and coins only, and provide the option for $3 unlimited ride “Jazzy Passes”.
- Bike Easy Valet Bike Parking is available Friday-Sunday. The service is located at the Canal Street entrance to Woldenberg Riverfront Park. “Do it yourself” bike parking is also available at several locations: along the Mississippi floodwall at the Conti Street and Bienville Street entrances, and at Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Avenue, on the neutral ground.
- New Orleans has many cab companies servicing the area. View all the options here.
What happens if festival-goers show up at the gate with a prohibited item?
The attendee will have the option of discarding or surrendering the prohibited item or the attendee can secure the item at a location of their choosing (car, hotel room, etc.). Surrendered items cannot be returned, items will be forfeited.
What else is prohibited?
What is the Festival's Coronavirus Plan?
It is with great sadness that we announce that we are no longer moving forward with plans to host French Quarter Festival in October. At the City’s direction and out of caution for the safety of our fans, musicians, staff and partners, French Quarter Festival and Satchmo SummerFest 2020 have been canceled. For the remainder of the year, we will refocus our energy on innovating to create new ways to deliver on our mission in 2020. We look forward to returning stronger together April 8-11, 2021 for French Quarter Festival and July 30 – August 1, 2021 for Satchmo SummerFest —where we’ll all be dancin’ in the streets!
Since 1984, French Quarter Festivals, Inc. has been committed to our non-profit mission to deliver a positive economic impact to the community and to showcase our incredible local music and culture. Our festivals create thousands of jobs for musicians and others; help sustain local, small businesses; and provide a priceless cultural impact to hundreds of thousands of attendees. Many local businesses, artists, and hospitality workers rely on the income produced by French Quarter Festival and Satchmo SummerFest. In 2019, French Quarter Festival alone generated nearly $200 million in economic impact for the city and hired over 1,700 local musicians. Visitor spending at our festivals create or support nearly 2,100 full and part-time jobs for our community.
Now, more than ever, our community needs us just as much as we need your support. Please consider donating to French Quarter Festivals, Inc.’s Resilience Campaign in lieu of attending this year. This campaign ensures that our non-profit can survive this unprecedented situation and bring back our beloved events in 2021. Donors will receive festival merchandise and recognition on our website. Click here to learn more and become a supporter.
Does the Festival provide ADA resources?
Visitors are encouraged to visit our ADA info tent for maps, Braille brochures, and information on viewing areas and bathrooms. In addition, FQFI has partnered with KultureCity to improve our ability to assist and accommodate guests with sensory needs. Our objective is to provide an inclusive and seamless experience for all guests for all events including those with sensory needs. We strive to raise awareness of the needs and challenges faced by individuals with sensory processing disorders by supplying our Team Members with continuous training and by offering the resources and accommodations below to our guests.