Although I am a New Orleans native, I did not grow up going to Jazz Fest each year like other locals. It actually was not until just seven years ago that a great friend of mine convinced me to step outside of my comfort zone, and I am glad she did. Before then, I was too anxious about the crowds, not much of a live music lover, and I hated the thought of hanging out in the heat while sitting in grass. Thank God Jazz Fest came along to save my sheltered, judgmental little soul!
Now that I know better and have an open mind and heart, I would like to share my successes with everyone. Enjoying Jazz Fest is very simple. It comes down to what you wear, what you drink, what you bring, and who you go with.
What to wear to Jazz Fest:
Wearing the correct clothing is by far one of the most important details for a successful Jazz Fest experience. Most of the time, fingers crossed, you will have a beautiful, sunny day. Making sure you are not adding to the heat by wearing something too heavy or uncomfortable will make things that much more enjoyable. And preparing for the weather in case it is not perfect is another absolute must. Here is a list of what is most important:
What to drink at Jazz Fest:
This is very simple. Stay hydrated! Beer booths are all over the fairgrounds. So if you are a beer drinker, you are in luck. You may bring in your own sealed bottle of water, but no other outside drinks are allowed. Aside from beer, booths are scattered throughout the fair grounds selling daiquiris, margaritas, wine, water, lemonade, tea, and soft drinks.
What to bring to Jazz Fest:
There are many restricted items on the list for Jazz Fest. Here’s what you can bring in:
Who to take to Jazz Fest:
Aside from wearing the proper clothing, choosing the right people to spend the day with is the most important thing. Most people would not think this is a big deal, but I feel like this can either make your day or break your day. Having a large group is always the most fun. But you have to make sure that you do not accidently allow a “Debbie Downer” into the krewe.
You do not want to be with the friend that hates crowds, hates the heat, constantly complains, doesn’t want to sit in grass, cannot use a port-o-let, or generally can not sit still and just enjoy the music, the day, and the food. Based on these things, I would have never invited myself to Jazz Fest! You also do not want to be with a category five clinger.
You do want to be with people that can be on their own while you are grabbing a beer or food. Bring people who are fun, relaxed, down for whatever, and have a similar plan for the day that you do—or people who do not have a plan at all. That’s even better.
No matter who you go with, what you wear, what you bring or drink, have fun! That is most important. And just pay attention to these last tips, and you will be fine: