In the planning stages, everyone involved with Jazz Fest recognized that the new festival needed to be unique, showcasing everything about the cultural life of the city. Founder George Wein was convinced that because headlining artists would come and go, the future of any festival would have to rely upon the promotion of New Orleans and Louisiana culture.
But how could you shoehorn the culture of New Orleans into an evening of music? The solution was a daytime fair outside the Municipal Auditorium, where most of the concerts were scheduled. It had room for all the food and crafts and street culture that wouldn’t fit on stage. And it could include hundreds of additional musicians. It was called the Louisiana Heritage Fair, and it took over the historic Congo Square. Find out more about the first New Orleans Jazz Festival & Louisiana Heritage Fair in this WWOZ Jazz Fest at 50 Time Capsule.
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