French Quarter Fest 2019: 6 new things to expect this year

Some new things are in store for the 2019 French Quarter Fest, billed as the world’s largest showcase of Louisiana music, food, and culture. A new stage and expanded evening entertainment are only a couple of the features at the free, four-day festival on April 11 to April 14.

Here's a list of new, exciting things festival-goers can expect this year.

Photo by Zack Smith Photography, Courtesy of French Quarter Festivals, Inc

Plans for a new stage on the Moonwalk

This year, festival organizers say they plan to expand Riverfront entertainment with a new stage on the Moonwalk.

The new venue, the Pan-American Life Insurance Group Stage will bring music to the newly renovated Moonwalk on Saturday and Sunday. Artists include Helen Gillet & Wazozo and Jason Marsalis 21st Century Trad Band.

“Our mission is to promote New Orleans’ culture and heritage, and this year we have more ways to achieve it,” Emily Madero, President & CEO of FQFI, said in a release.

Photo by Zack Smith Photography, Courtesy of French Quarter Festivals, Inc.

Tons of artists making festival debuts

More than 250 acts head to French Quarter Fest, including 43 newcomers making their debut. Look out for Galactic, Big 6 Brass Band, Keith Burnstein’s Kettle Black, Lil’ Glenn & Backatown, The Royal Teeth and Magnolia Sisters.

In addition, organizers say musicians whose performances were cancelled due to inclement weather during the 2018 event were rebooked whenever possible.

Read more about the lineup

Photo courtesy: Morrow's

Nine new food vendors head to the fest

French Quarter Fest brings together dozens of local restaurants to offer a taste of the city. Festival-goers can enjoy food from more than 60 vendors offering delicious options. Several new food vendors make their debut this year.

New restaurants at 2019 festival include: Café Maspero, Landry’s Seafood, Messina’s at the Terminal, Morrow’s, New Orleans School of Cooking, Sweet Handkraft, We Dat’s Chicken and Shrimp, Dorignac’s Food Center and Rizzuto’s Ristorante and Chop House.

See the list of food vendors and offerings.

fried chicken fest music lineup - flow tribe
Photo courtesy: Flow Tribe

Expanded evening concert series brings more headliners

Attendees can experience Louisiana legends in the streets of the Quarter each night of festival, thanks to the expanded Chevron Evening Concert Series.

The Chevron Stage, a longtime Cajun/Zydeco destination, will feature more genres nightly, in addition their Cajun/Zydeco lineup; the Evening Concert Series includes Jon Cleary, George Porter, Jr. & the Runnin’ Pardners, Flow Tribe, and Rockin’ Dopsie.

Photo by Zack Smith Photography, Courtesy of French Quarter Festivals, Inc.

Green initiatives like reusable cups and recycling bins

After testing it out at Satchmo SummerFest in 2018, organizers will go more green at French Quarter Fest. Festival organizers announce a program that will allow attendees to recycle plastics and cans throughout the grounds and at entry-points.

Also, reusable souvenir cups will be available for purchase at festival beverage booths. This initiative is part of the fest’s goal to reduce waste and contribute to a sustainable future.

“French Quarter Festivals, Inc. is striving to be a Louisiana leader in waste reduction; it’s important to our long-term success and aligns with our mission to instill increased pride in our community,” Madero said.

Photo by Zack Smith Photography, Courtesy of French Quarter Festivals, Inc.

New sensory inclusive program

A new partnership with KultureCity will bring a Sensory Inclusive Program to the fest, designed to help guests with sensory needs like autism, PTSD and more. Organizers say the center will be staffed with professionals in collaboration with the new ADA info booth and services.

Festival organizers say the new program aims to focus on improved access to make the event more inclusive, according to a release.