What’s new at Bayou Boogaloo: First-ever comedy tent, silent disco, crawfish eating contest

NEW ORLEANS (NOLA WEEKEND) - The 2023 Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo will feature the first-ever comedy tent and other new elements when the festival returns to the banks of Bayou St. John from May 19 to May 21.

Now in its 16th year, the festival, produced by the non-profit Friends of Bayou St. John, features three full days of live music, a carefully curated arts market and more than 20 local food and beverage vendors.

New Orleans-born comedian Sean Patton, who’s currently based in New York, headlines the festival’s first-ever comedy tent featuring three days of comedy programming. Patton, who released his latest comedy special in December, closes out the comedy tent with a performance on Sunday.

Wait, What?, a stand-up comedy showcase mixed with a drinking game that usually runs at The Howlin’ Wolf, opens the comedy tent as the first act on Friday, hosted by comedians Isaac Kozell and Geoffrey Gauchet. Other comedians performing include Rude Jude, Vincent Zambon, Kymbra Li, Mark Caesar, JQ Palms and Thomas Jones.

Bayou Boogaloo also features a diverse music lineup across two stages with Juvenile, The Yonder Mountain String Band, Boyfriend, Rebirth Brass Band, Reverend Horton Heat and The Iceman Special.

Most notably, Saturday night features rapper and Cash Money Records alum Juvenile, joined by Partners-N-Crime and DJ Jubilee. Plus, psychedelic funk band The Iceman Special plays a two-set slot from 5:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. to close out the fest on Sunday.

The music lineup also includes Bonerama, Water Seed, LeTrainiump, Bon Bon Vivant, Eddie 9v and others.

Festival organizers also launch an extended silent disco activation with DJ takeovers from the likes of Ragency and glbl wrmng from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

Another new element, Moss Street Marina, located on the riverside of the bayou, features environmental and sustainability programming. Also new and notable at Bayou Boogaloo: a crawfish-eating contest at 2 p.m. at the Orleans Stage on Saturday, with a $1,000 grand prize. Plus, Avenues Recovery Center alumni are creating a Sober Safe Spot to encourage people in sobriety to come out and enjoy the festival.

New food vendors include T-Swirl Crepe offering sweet Japanese-style crepes like matcha chocolate truffle filled with sliced strawberries. Newcomer Chef Anh Luu of Xanh will offer some Vietnamese classics not often seen outside of the Vietnamese community or at local festivals, such as a Pandan-Mung Bean Banana Pudding, and Ferg’s Fire Style Grill will serve chargrilled oysters on the half shell.

Returning Mid-City brick and mortar vendors include Clesi’s, Soulé Cafe and Bub’s.

Gates open at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, with the last headliner ending at 9:30 p.m. Gates open on Saturday at 11 a.m., with the last headliner ending at 9:30 p.m. A silent disco runs from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Festival hours on Sunday are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets to the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo are $25 per day, $45 for a 3-day pass and $220 for the three-day Crescent 9 VIP pass. Kids 12 and under are free.

For more information and tickets, visit the website, thebayouboogaloo.com/tickets/.

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey is the digital content producer and on-air personality for FOX 8 Nola Weekend. Shan is a creative storyteller who is passionate about creating compelling content that connects with audiences.