This morning, French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI), the nonprofit organization that produces French Quarter Fest, announced that the 2021 festival will be scaled back one day from their originally planned dates. This year, French Quarter Fest will take place Thursday, September 30 through Saturday, October 2, 2021. In 2022, French Quarter Fest will return to its traditional April dates.
As New Orleans begins to host events again, residents will see a flurry of long-postponed events take place this fall. At the City's request, French Quarter Fest organizers have consolidated festival activities into three days in order allow the city to focus its security and safety resources on the New Orleans Saints home game on Sunday, October 3. FQFI is shifting their programming in order to maximize the concentrated schedule and present time-honored festival traditions, stages, and performances.
French Quarter Fest will bring regional cuisine from more than 50 local restaurants, hundreds of Louisiana musicians on 19 stages, and special events that celebrate New Orleans’ diverse, unique culture, 11am-9pm each day.
The 2021 French Quarter Festival lineup is stacked with a broad range of Louisiana artists from several genres. Organizers have prioritized the booking of many bands from the 2020 lineup to curate more than 200 acts across 19 stages throughout the historic French Quarter. Artists making their debut include Rickie Lee Jones, Big Chief Juan Pardo & The Golden Comanches, Fermín Ceballos + Merengue4FOUR, Sporty's Brass Band, Chapel Hart Band, and Lilli Lewis.
Returning favorites include Tank and the Bangas, John Boutté, Amanda Shaw, and hundreds more. Attendees can experience Louisiana legends each night of festival, thanks to the Chevron Evening Concert Series, which returns in 2021 with Waterseed, Irma Thomas, and Big Chief Bo Dollis, Jr. & the Wild Magnolias. Fest fans visiting Jackson Square will find the GE Stage with a lineup of New Orleans’ most respected artists and culture-bearers including Preservation Brass, Robin Barnes, and James Andrews. The riverfront Abita Beer Stage brings three days of music including Tank and the Bangas, Rickie Lee Jones, Flow Tribe, Sweet Crude, Kermit Ruffins, and Dirty Dozen Brass Band. At the Tropical Isle Hand Grenade Stage, the lineup includes Little Freddie King, John Boutte, Deacon John, and Papa Gros. At the New Orleans Jazz Museum, brass bands will be featured Thursday-Saturday on the Louisiana Fish Fry Stage, and the WWL-TV Esplanade in the Shade Stage brings three days of music from crowd favorites like Tin Men, Sarah Quintana, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, Dash Rip Rock, Lynn Drury, and Astral Project. The complete schedule will be released in August.
“Throughout the COVID crisis, we have strengthened our ability to remain flexible,” said Emily Madero, CEO of FQFI. “As one of the largest free music and food festivals in the United States, we always want to ensure our impact is in the best interest of the City and our French Quarter neighbors and businesses. For fans, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy both French Quarter Fest and a Saints game on the same weekend! We’re bringing together our favorite hometown festival and hometown team - we couldn't script a better celebration to memorialize the resilience of NOLA and the return to normal life.”
Details at frenchquarterfest.org.