What’s New at Bayou Boogaloo: New food vendors, all-female music jam

Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo announced that it will remain entirely free, changing previous plans to charge an entry fee after 3 p.m. However, festival organizers announced some other new features coming to the beloved three-day neighborhood festival kicking off on Friday, May 18 to Sunday, May 21 along Bayou St. John.

$1,000 entry cash-back raffle

Organizers previously announced a cash back raffle for festival-goers paying the admission fee. Festival-goers arriving after 3 p.m. were subject to get automatically entered into a raffle to win $1,000.

However, with Bayou Boogaloo changing its plans to charge an entry fee, organizers say the raffle will also no longer take place.

New food vendors — including vegan and gluten-free options

Those new additions also include a couple of food vendors making their debut at the festival. Some new vendors bringing fresh flavors include Zippy Fruit, Empanola and Z’Kaya, who specializes in delicious gluten-free and vegan offerings.

Z’Kaya will offer Crispy Brussel Sprouts with lemongrass gastrique, coconut-ginger crème and sesame seeds ($6 and gluten-free), Crawfish Hashimaki ($6 savory thin pancakes with local crawfish, cabbage, miso corn and topped with calamansi aioli, furikake and otafu sauce.) For $7, Pork & Shrimp Lumpia is fresh ground pork and gulf shrimp crispy spring rolls with mango Kimchi sauce. Z’Kaya has also produced a Boogaloo Bento, a sampling of all three menu items with a side of tsukemono pickles served in a recyclable bento container made from sugarcane for $10.

There will be a total of 30 local restaurants and caterers ready to dish out their best eats. See the full list of food vendors here.

N.O.B.A.B.E.S. Friday Night Music Jam

On Friday, the Port Orleans Dumaine State will showcase all-female performers. Festival organizers say this unique arrangement of musical talent is assembled in response to growing national focus on female empowerment. The Pinettes Brass Band plays from 5:00 to 6:15 p.m., followed by supergroup N.O.B.A.B.E.S. from 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. N.O.B.A.B.E.S. is made up all New Orleans musicians and performers including Emily Fredrickson, Hannah Kreiger-Benson, Lori LaPatka, Ainsley Matich, Alison McConnell, Catie Rodgers, Ashley Shabankareh, Boyanna Trayanova, Jamie Lynn Vessels and Jessica Wright.

Other performers making their Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo debuts include 2018 GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and original Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli, Marc Broussard and Deacon John & the Ivories. The complete music lineup for this year’s event features more than 30 music acts on four stages.

Other new features

Festival organizers also announced the launch of a Bayou Boogaloo app available for free download in the Apple and Android app stores. They say the app is a part of the festival’s ongoing goal to be more environmentally friendly. Users will have access to weather updates and other real-time festival information.

Also, in an effort to increase accessibility for all New Orleanians, the fest will have sign language interpreters on all stages, all three days.

The festival also forges a new partnership with Blue Bikes New Orleans. Blue Bikes riders will be provided with two areas manned by representatives to lock their bikes free of charge. One location will be near a permanent Blue Bikes hub located at Jeff Davis and Lafitte Greenway. The other will be a temporary hub north of Dumaine St called the Drop Zone.

Get more details on the festival’s website.

Note: This story has been updated to reflect changes in the festival’s charging policy and cancellation of the $1,000 raffle. Organizers changed previous plans to charge an entry fee after 3 p.m. Bayou Boogaloo is now a free festival. The raffle has been cancelled.

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