Press Releases

French Quarter Festivals, Inc.
Rebecca Sell, Marketing and Publicity Manager
400 N Peters, STE 205
New Orleans, LA 70130

The 34th Annual French Quarter Festival is April 6-9
What’s New in 2017

(January 24, 2017) New Orleans, LA – French Quarter Festivals, Inc. proudly announces details about the 34th Annual French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron. The largest showcase of Louisiana music in the world will take place April 6-9, 2017. Festival-goers can expect over 60 of New Orleans’ finest restaurants at ‘The World’s Largest Jazz Brunch,’ music from over 1,700 world-class, local musicians, and over a dozen special events. French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron has been called the “one thing to do in Louisiana” by the Huffington Post and voted “Best Festival in New Orleans” by New Orleans Magazine readers.

What started as a neighborhood festival and ‘locals’ event’ has grown into the largest event in Louisiana behind Mardi Gras, with an average economic impact of approximately $190 million.

More than 20 New Artists
Aaron Neville to make his festival debut on Thursday, April 6

French Quarter Festival organizers welcome more than 20 new acts to the 2017 Festival. On Locals’ Lagniappe Day, Thursday, April 6, Aaron Neville will make his debut on the riverfront Abita Beer Stage. The performance is presented by musician sponsor, AOS. Aaron Neville is synonymous with New Orleans, celebrated throughout the world as part of the legendary Neville Brothers and as a Grammy-winning solo artist. He has had numerous Platinum albums and Top 10 hits. His most recent album, Apache, was released in July 2016. French Quarter Festivals, Inc. is thrilled to welcome him to the Abita Beer Stage.

Other debuts include: Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole, Cole Williams Band, Cupid, Messy Cookers Jazz Band, Mo’Fess, Love Evolution, Perdido Jazz Band, T’Monde, Valerie Sassyfrass, and more.

Jack Daniel’s Stage Grows with Four Days of Music in New Location
Live music on more than 20 stages

Year after year, French Quarter Festival is voted ‘local favorite’ while also attracting a tremendous out-of-town audience. A huge part of the appeal is that attendees get a true and authentic New Orleans experience – a broad range of Louisiana artists and a diverse variety of musical styles and genres. Since 1984, French Quarter Festival has been committed to featuring New Orleans’ finest artists every day of the festival, on stages all over the French Quarter. The tradition continues in 2017 with the expansion of the Jack Daniel’s Stage, which moves from Bourbon Street to JAX Brewery. The stage will have entertainment all four days of festival. Artists include: Otra, Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns, King James & The Special Men, Soul Rebels, and Corey Henry’s Treme Funktet. French Quarter Festival 2017 will also bring a stage to KIPP McDonogh 15 School for the Creative Arts located at 721 St Philip Street. The stage’s lineup will be released in March.

The GE Digital Big River Stage returns with every genre from Bounce to Rockabilly. Artists include Alex McMurray, Brass-A-Holics, Partners N Crime & The Big Easy Band featuring DJ Jubilee, and Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers. The stage, which will have music all four days of festival, has over 20 bands performing. The always-popular Popeyes Brass Band Jam will bring three full days of brass bands to the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint. Performers include Leroy Jones’ Original Hurricane Brass Band, The Original Pinettes Brass Band, Red Wolf Brass Band, Storyville Stompers Brass Band, and many more.

Musician Sponsorship Program
Sponsors contribute over $1 million since program’s inception in 2012

The 2017 French Quarter Festival will feature over 1,700 local artists. Festival-organizers remain committed to growing the Musician Sponsorship Program; every dollar donated goes directly to the artists. Since its inception in 2012, the initiative has raised $1 million in contributions. In 2016, over 100 individuals, foundations, and businesses signed up to support local musicians by ‘adopting an artist.’ Sponsors come from all over the United States – from California to Maryland to Michigan to Washington State – to help keep French Quarter Festival free – a true community event. In 2017, AOS Interior Environments sponsors Aaron Neville, and Pan-American Life Insurance Group is underwriting all Latin and world music for a second year. Making a debut is Aloft New Orleans Downtown sponsoring Sweet Crude and Alexis and the Samurai. The Festival is still accepting 2017 sponsorships. Contact Becca Schick, Musician Sponsorship Manager, at 504-227-3126 or rschick@fqfi.org for more information.

Opening Night Gala returns to Antoine’s

Thursday April 6, the French Quarter Festival Opening Night Gala will return to Antoine’s Restaurant. Established in 1840 Antoine’s is the country’s oldest family-run restaurant. During the Gala, guests will enjoy the original Main Dining Room, the Mardi Gras-themed Rex, Proteus, and 12th Night Revelers rooms, the Mystery Room, 1840 Room, the Tabasco Room, and the Wine Cellar, which holds approximately 25,000 bottles when fully stocked. French Quarter Festival is the only time of the year when Antoine’s allows a non-profit community organization to ‘take over’ – celebrating the opening of French Quarter Festival at this grand Gala event.

Gala guests will enjoy music by Players Ella and Louis Tribute Band, tastings by Antoine’s and other festival favorites, an open bar courtesy of Abita Brewing Company and Republic Beverages, and mingling with the Merry Antoinettes. Tony Green and Gypsy Jazz will perform at the Patron Party, which takes place from 7-8:00 pm, immediately before the Gala which takes place from 8-10:30 pm. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online at www.fqfi.org or by calling 504-227-3124. Patron tickets are $250 and Gala tickets are $155 ($175 beginning April 1). In addition to single tickets, a limited number of VIP packages are available; packages include private gala seating with dedicated waiter and wristbands for front-of-stage access at festival.

A Showcase of New Orleans’ Finest Cuisine

In a city famous for its wealth of delicious and unique traditional food, French Quarter Festival gives attendees a taste of the best of the best at the ‘‘The World’s Largest Jazz Brunch”. More than 60 vendors feature classic New Orleans dishes as well as cuisine from the finest restaurants in the region. A number of restaurants have been with the festival since its beginning in 1984, and have been great partners for 30 years: Antoine’s, Pat O’Brien’s, Trey Yuen, Tujague’s, Vaucresson Sausage, Desire Oyster Bar, and Court of Two Sisters. Other festival favorites returning for 2017 include Galatoire’s, Muriel’s, Praline Connection, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Restaurant R’evolution, Broussard’s, Love at First Bite, Royal House, GW Fins, House of Blues, Jacques-Imo’s, K-Paul’s, Mrs. Wheat’s, Lasyone’s Meat Pies, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Three Muses, and more. A full list of restaurants, including new vendors for 2017, will be released in March.

Sponsors help to keep this a true community event
Chevron returns as Title Sponsor of French Quarter Festival and Satchmo SummerFest

French Quarter Festivals, Inc. is proud of its history of providing high-quality community events at no cost and being accessible to all. In order to keep the Festival free and open to the public, the organization relies heavily on the contributions of sponsors and partners, beverage and merchandise sales, and vendor fees. Festival organizers welcome the return of Chevron as Title Sponsor of both French Quarter Festival and Satchmo SummerFest. “Chevron is thrilled to return as presenting sponsor of the 34th annual French Quarter Festival,” said Leah Brown Public Affairs Manager, Chevron Gulf of Mexico. “Chevron values local arts and culture. Our partnership with French Quarter Festivals, Inc. is one way we fuel the social and economic vitality of New Orleans and Louisiana.”

Abita Brewing Company, Brown-Forman, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, NOLA.com/Times-Picayune, OffBeat Magazine, Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, Tropical Isle, Rouses, and WWL-TV also return as Major Sponsors of French Quarter Festival.

GE Digital has signed a three year agreement to return as a major sponsor supporting a riverfront stage as well as the Festival’s official apps. The FREE French Quarter Festival iPhone and Android App lets fans receive up to the minute announcements, downloadable music schedules, complete menus, special events, merchandise updates, and unique offers to enhance their festival experience.The updated app will be released late March.

Additional returning sponsors include: Amtrak, Antoine’s Restaurant, The Berger Company, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts, Crescent Crown Distributing, Cumulus New Orleans, Data News Weekly, DownBeat Magazine, French Market Corporation, Hermann Grima House, The Historic New Orleans Collection, House of Blues, Inthenola.com, I.T.S. Fire Alarm Security, LLC, KKAY, KREWE du optic, Laurel Outdoors, Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, Live Free Magazine, Louisiana Cookin’, Louisiana Cultural Vistas, Louisiana Lottery, Musician’s Performance Fund, New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, New Orleans Original Daiquiris, NOLA Jitterbugs, Palm Court Jazz Café, Pat O’Brien’s, Pepsi, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Preservation Hall, Renaissance Publishing, Rentech Solutions, Republic National Distributing, Rolland Safe and Lock, Royal Sonesta, Steinway and Sons, Taste of the South, The Vinyl District, Uptown Messenger, WBOK, Westin New Orleans Canal Place, WHERE Magazine, Where Y’at, Windsor Court Hotel, Whitney Bank, WWOZ, WWNO 89.9 FM, WRNO 99.5, WYLD, and Zapp’s Potato Chips.
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16th Annual Satchmo SummerFest moves to Jackson Square
Things you NEED to know! Facts about the Fest

Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron is moving to Jackson Square in 2016, bringing the best of New Orleans’ traditional jazz, cuisine, and culture to one of the most famous and iconic parks in the world. Satchmo SummerFest is a celebration of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong and his life, music, and legacy. It is the only traditional jazz festival in New Orleans. The annual event, produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc., takes place August 5-7, 2016. Since its inception, Satchmo SummerFest – previously held at the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint – has grown to annually attract an average of 40,000 music lovers from all over the world.
Here are five facts about the move and what to expect in 2016:

1. Why move? The move will help FQFI achieve its goal of growth for Satchmo SummerFest, a Festival which began in 2001 as a way to commemorate Louis Armstrong’s 100th birthday. Moving to Jackson Square immediately provides extra space and increases future potential for expansion into the neighborhood. For 2016, a third stage has been added – the Fleurty Girl Back o’ Town Stage, inside the Louisiana State Museum’s Arsenal; the Satchmo Symposium, three days of fascinating lectures and discussions about Louis Armstrong, expands into Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre (doubling past capacity). French Quarter Festivals, Inc. looks forward to adding more music stages and programming in the years to come.

2. How will I keep cool? Satchmo SummerFest offers several ways to beat the heat! The Cornet Chop Suey stage will be completely under a shade tent for the musicians and the audience. Throughout Jackson Square, large picnic umbrellas, picnic tables, misting fans (and of course, the beautiful oak trees) will keep attendees shaded. Several indoor options are also available at Festival: the Fleurty Girl Back o’Town Stage inside the Louisiana State Museum’s Arsenal brings two full days of traditional jazz and dancing; Pops’ Playhouse for Kids, also inside the Arsenal, offers activities ranging from instrument making to scat lessons; and Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre will host the Satchmo Symposium with a world class lineup.

3. What else is new this year? Satchmo SummerFest welcomes an exciting new sponsor, Cornet Restaurant to the Red Beans and Ricely Yours Stage. Cornet Restaurant is owned by descendants of the Karnofsky family, Jewish immigrants who hired Louis Armstrong as a delivery boy when he was just seven years old, and then took him under their wing as a member of the family and gave him money to purchase his first cornet – setting the stage for his future. The Hotter than Hot Menu (formally Red Bean Alley) brings delicious fare from over a dozen of New Orleans’ finest restaurants. New vendors include Cornet Restaurant, Antoine’s Restaurant, Muriel’s Jackson Square, and Petite Rouge Café Camionette. Musical debuts include Grammy artist Catherine Russell, daughter of Louis Armstrong’s former bandleader Luis Russell, and clarinetist, saxophonist, educator and New Orleans native, Victor Goines; Goines has been a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis Septet since 1993.

4. Where are the restrooms near Jackson Square? A free, air-conditioned bathroom trailer (as well as regular port-o-lets) for festival goers will be conveniently located directly across from the Decatur Street side of Jackson Square.

5. What about everyone who used to camp out on Barracks Street… how will they enjoy the new location? Jackson Square has a pedestrian mall, where fans who prefer to stay outside the gate can enjoy the celebration.

6. Where can I find the complete schedule, map, menu, parking info, and hours for Satchmo SummerFest? There are a few ways to find Satchmo SummerFest! Find everything on our website: www.fqfi.org, the full printed schedule will be included in the August issue of OffBeat Magazine (free) and on the streets the last week of July, the official schedule will also be handed out at the ticket booths at Festival, and the Symposium at Le Petit Theatre.
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2016 French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron
Record-breaking crowds from across the globe enjoyed the largest showcase of Louisiana food and music in the world

(April 12, 2016) New Orleans, LA – French Quarter Festivals, Inc. proudly releases numbers for the 33rd annual French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron. This year’s attendance figures indicate that over 760,000 festival-goers enjoyed the music, food, special events, and of course, the historic French Quarter. The record-breaking numbers mark a significant increase over 2015, when several days of rain reduced attendance to 386,000. Executive Director Marci Schramm reflected, “2016 French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron was one for the record books: amazing crowds, including so many locals and families; perfect weather; the best music and food in the world – everyone came out and just had a really good time! Our French Quarter neighborhood and our beautiful City have never looked better.”

Festival vendors also reported increases. Rouses had record sales at French Quarter Festival 2016, selling over 50,000 pounds of boiled crawfish. Beverage sales were also up: Abita served 675 kegs and 1,400 cases of beer, New Orleans Original Daiquiris sold over 42,000 daiquiris, and 690 gallons of Lynchburg Lemonade and Herradura Margaritas were enjoyed by French Quarter Festival fans. Over 128 tons of ice were used in festival beverages including Pat O’Brien’s, Tropical Isle, Abita, Jack Daniel’s, Plum Street SnoBalls. Haydel’s Bakery used over 200 pounds of white chocolate in their White Chocolate King Cake Bread Pudding.

The 2016 French Quarter Festival featured iPhone and Android phone apps, created by festival sponsor GE Digital, which were available free of charge. This year saw an increase in the number of users, bringing the total to over 70,000 App fans since its 2010 inception. In partnership with New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation and Solomon Group, the Festival launched a Social Media Lounge to provide new ways for fans to engage with the event.

The award-winning festival, which began in 1984, was created by then Mayor Ernest “Dutch” Morial, who appointed a group of visionaries who designed the festival as a way to bring people back to the historic French Quarter following lengthy construction prior to the World’s Fair. It has grown to become the largest showcase of Louisiana food and music in the world. Twenty-three music stages throughout the French Quarter presented the best in New Orleans music, representing every genre from traditional and contemporary jazz to R & B and New Orleans funk, brass bands, folk, gospel, classical, cabaret, opera, Cajun, Zydeco, world music, international, as well as a musical stage for children. Nearly 100 food and beverage booths located in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Decatur Street, Spanish Plaza, and the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint made up the “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch,” a signature event featuring authentic local cuisine from renowned area restaurants, many of whom have been with the Festival throughout its entire 33-year history.

French Quarter Festival relies on strong community support to present the ‘kickoff to festival season in New Orleans’ – with nearly 1,500 volunteers, 300 musical acts, numerous generous sponsors – including the New Orleans Musicians Union AFM Local 174-496, businesses from all over the country who sponsor musical acts at festival, New Orleans Police and Fire Departments, EMS, permitting assistance from the City of New Orleans and partnerships with Parks and Parkways, Audubon Institute, and the Louisiana State Museum, among others. New sponsors included Chevrolet, Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts, Crimestoppers, Moxy New Orleans, Smokefree NOLA, Solomon Group, Snickers Crispers, State Farm, and Whitney Bank.

Festival-goers attended a variety of free special events throughout the weekend, including 24 musical debuts, Whitney Bank Film Fest at French Quarter Festival, produced in partnership with Timecode: NOLA and Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, a symposium at the Old U.S. Mint, ‘Let them Talk: Conversations on Louisiana Music’; free dance lessons; two children’s areas – including the Chevron STEAM Zone- with music and activities; a Pirate’s Alley Juried Art Show; Battle of the Bands; Sunday’s ‘Dancing at Dusk,’ which filled the 400 block of Royal Street and beyond with dancers. In addition, organizers cite the incredible four days of perfect weather as a contributing factor to the success.

Over 500 guests, including Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Councilmembers Jason Williams and Jared Brossett, and Chevron top executive Mike Illanne attended the festival’s sold-out Opening Night Gala at Antoine’s Restaurant on April 7. Musical performances included Carl LeBlanc, John Rankin, the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, and special guests Jean Knight, the Dixie Cups, Fred LeBlanc, Big Sam, and Robin Barnes. A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Roots of Music and Jackson Square improvements and beautification.

French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron is produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc., (FQFI) the 501 © (3) nonprofit organization, which also produces Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron in August and Christmas New Orleans Style in December. For more information about any of these events, call (504) 522-5730 or visit www.fqfi.org.

Photos and Videos

Photography provided by Zack Smith Photography at www.zacksmith.com, courtesy of French Quarter Festivals, Inc.