Festival-goers heading to the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo can expect to pay up for the first time ever. The festival will charge an admission fee in 2019, the first time in the neighborhood event’s 14-year history, organizers announced via a release.
The annual three-day fest takes place this weekend along the banks of Bayou St John on May 17 to May 19.
For 2019, fest-goers will pay $10 per day, or $20 for the three-day weekend. Wristbands will allow in and out access. Children under the age of 12 are free.
Three-day tickets can be purchased in advance via the festival’s website at Thebayouboogaloo.com.
Organizers cite a “radical increase in land use fees” as the reason an admission charge will be implemented in 2019, in a statement via e-mail.
“We understand this information is coming at the last minute, but it was unavoidable. Our choice was to cancel the fest, or implement a gate fee,” a festival spokesperson said in an e-mail.
“The Friends of Bayou St. John Board of Directors made this decision in order to keep the Bayou Boogaloo viable for our musicians, artists and businesses that rely on our event and, most of all, for the hope that community festivals can remain part of the cultural landscape of New Orleans.”
In 2018, organizers toyed with a $5 admission fee for people who attended the festival after 3 p.m. before nixing plans for charging an entry fee.
Then, the 2018 Bayou Boogaloo was shaken by a violent Friday thunderstorm that shut down the festival on opening day. After the microburst of wind and rain twisted tents and stages, Bayou Boogaloo miraculously bounced back for the remaining two days thanks to staff, vendors and volunteers who worked throughout the night.
Recently added to the 2019 musical line up is Anders Osborne and The Suffers both at the Friends of Bayou St. John Orleans Stage. They join other headliners Delta blues guitarist Tab Benoit, Cowboy Mouth, Raw Oyster Cult and high-energy bayou pop princess Amanda Shaw.
In addition to music on four stages, Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo boasts a curated arts market, a VIP Canopy Club and food from 30 local restaurants. The festival is also known for its paddling, biking and yoga activities.
For more information, visit the festival’s website.