2021 New Orleans Summer Festival Schedule

Not only is it already a hot summer in New Orleans, but the schedule for summer festival season also heats up.

While many of the biggest festivals have decided to postpone until this fall, festival-goers can already start enjoying some major music events.

From food fests dedicated to Louisiana seafood to the beloved music festival dedicated to Louis Armstrong, there’s enough fun to keep your calendar busy. We found nearly a dozen festivals filling the lineup starting in June.

Here’s your guide to New Orleans summer festivals and major events to mark on your calendar. Check back for updates as additional festival announcements are made.

June – September 2021

Photo by Zack Smith Photography, courtesy of Satchmo SummerFest

Jean Lafitte Seafood Festival

June 25 – 27

Lafitte Grounds and Auditorium
Google Map
The Lafitte Seafood Fest features three days of Grammy Award-winning music, Louisiana food and other activities. In addition to celebrating South Louisiana’s seafood and cuisine, the festival will also include swamp tours, kayak and pirogue rentals, carnival rides, a wine walk and a Louisiana art walk. The Marshall Tucker Band, Gin Blossoms, Revisiting Creedence and Tab Benoit headline. Admission to the three-day festival is $10 on Friday, $15 on Saturday and Sunday. Gates open at 5 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Essence Fest (Hybrid Event)

June 25 – 27, July 2 – 4

Virtual event, other TBA
For the second year, Essence Fest will virtual format in 2021 over two weekends. However, as part of a “hybrid” approach, the Essence Festival of Culture will host what seems to indicate a scaled-down version of taped performances for a select group of local guests in New Orleans. The virtual lineup features performances by Jasmine Sullivan,  DJ Khaled & Friends, Ne-Yo, Tank, Michelle Williams, Kirk Franklin, Davido and D-Nice. Festivities will stream on ESSENCEStudios.com and Essence.com.

Uncle Sam Jam

July 3

Lafreniere Park
Google Map
Wilson Phillips and The Guess Who will headline the Uncle Sam Jam when it returns to Al Copeland Concert Meadows in Lafreniere Park. This year, the popular Metairie music and fireworks event celebrates its 25th anniversary. For the first time, a Lucky Dog National Hot Dog Eating Contest will also take place at the event, officials announced.

French Market Creole Tomato Festival

July 3

French Market
Google Map
For its 35th year, the Creole Tomato Festival will take a hybrid approach with events at the French Market, online programming on social media and other activities at partner locations throughout New Orleans. The annual family-friendly event celebrates Louisiana’s Creole tomato with festival dishes and unique bloody marys.

NOLA Zydeco Fest

July 3

New Orleans Jazz Museum
Google Map
The Inaugural NOLA Zydeco Fest debuts as a new event celebrating South Louisiana music, food and culture at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. This free, family-friendly event will feature live bands and musical acts and offer authentic Zydeco dance lessons, along with access to delicious food vendors and historical exhibits in the New Orleans Jazz Museum.

Grand Isle International Tarpon Rodeo

July 22 – July 24

Grand Isle, La.
Google Map
Fishing enthusiasts gear up for the oldest fishing tournament in the United States. The Tarpon Rodeo features a fun-filled weekend, with lots of great food, local entertainment and awesome arts and crafts. You might even learn a few fishing tips. There will also be children’s crab races everyday of the rodeo, with awards being given out on the last day.

Satchmo Summerfest

July 31 – Aug. 1

New Orleans Jazz Museum
Google Map
Kermit Ruffins is among more than 20 acts set to perform when Satchmo SummerFest returns to the New Orleans Jazz Museum. The annual festival celebrates the life, legacy and music beloved New Orleans musician Louis Armstrong. Other acts scheduled to perform include Roots of Music, Treme Brass Band, James Andrews, Charmaine Neville, The Nayo Jones Experience, Meschiya Lake, Robin Barnes, and Hot 8 Brass Band. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. Capacity is limited, and organizers strongly recommend that attendees register here in advance to secure their spot and avoid lines.

New Orleans Bourbon Fest

Aug. 18 – Aug. 21

Contemporary Arts Center & Hilton Riverside
Google Map | Google Map
The New Orleans Bourbon Fest is scheduled to return for the enjoyment of bourbon lovers. The annual event features seminars, grand tastings, dinners and other bourbon-centric events. This year, the event is scheduled to take place a the Hilton Riverside and Contemporary Arts Center.

Que Pasa Fest

Sept. 18 – Sept. 19

Lafreniere Park
Google Map
Que Pasa Fest returns to celebrate the Hispanic influence and contributions to New Orleans for two days at Lafreniere Park. The free outdoor festival will feature more than 15 food booths from different Latin American countries. Other vendor booths at the festival will focus on community outreach. Festival-goers can expect live performances from local and international acts, and the children’s area will also return to this year’s event. The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on both days.

Abita Springs Busker Festival

Sept. 19

Abita Springs Trailhead Museum
Google Map
This Northshore festival celebrates Louisiana roots music and showcases notable buskers, or street performers, from the greater New Orleans area.


*All dates and information are subject to change. 

Contact us if there are changes in schedule.

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